mushroom meatball stew
these meatballs are so, so soft from a combination of fresh breadcrumbs, eggs, and savory onions and mushroom stem mixed into the meat. it also helps that it simmers slowly for an hour. sorry I don’t have any real pictures of the dish – I made it for a big family dinner and didn’t get a chance. it’s delicious, though!
this could also very easily be adapted for a slow cooker – just sear the meatballs and toss it into the cooker.
Mushroom Meatball Stew
3 pounds ground beef
3 packs white button mushrooms
5 or 6 medium sized onions
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
Any kind of stock (I used mushroom)
cumin or what Arabs call “meat spice”
2 pieces of white toast
1/4 – 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (the kind that comes in a can)
3 large eggs
1 large (family size) can of cream of mushroom soup
1. In a frying pan, heat some olive oil and fry two or three diced onions. Meanwhile, wash three boxes of mushrooms and take the stems off. Whizz the stems in a food processor so they get diced finely. Put those in with the onions and sauté until everything is brown. Add a bit of salt, about 1/4 tsp or so.
2. Purée this in a food processor or add it as is into your 3 pounds of ground beef. Also add to the ground beef one handful of chopped parsley (maybe half the bunch).
3. Beat together three eggs, one or two teaspoons of meat spice (or one teaspoon of cumin) and a bunch of black pepper, and about one or 2 teaspoons of salt. Pour this into the meat mixture.
4. Make breadcrumbs out of the bread in the food processor (untoasted bread, so the breadcrumbs come out soft) and add those with the handful of Parmesan cheese into the beef.
Make the meatballs and stew!
1. Make these into small meatballs (I took a quarter cup of meat mixture and divided that into two meatballs each). Sear them in a hot pan with some olive oil; don’t cook them all the way through yet. Once they are seared, take them out and put them into a large pot where you will simmer the stew.
2. Don’t clean the pan that has been used to sear the meatballs. Instead, add two or three sliced onions (depending on how much you like onions) and chopped garlic; sauté until they are brown. Once the onions get good and brown, add sliced mushroom caps. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the mushrooms break down and get soft, but they don’t have to be totally cooked. Add all of this to the pot with the meatballs in it. The mushrooms may have released a lot of liquid, and that is a good thing.
3. Now add to the pot of meatballs one large can of cream of mushroom soup, and the amount of broth it calls for thinning out the soup. It will be liquidier than normal soup because the mushrooms released liquid.
4. Stir everything up, cover and cook on medium low heat for an hour and a half to two hours, until the meatballs are soft.
5. Turn off the heat. Cut up some spinach and just drop it into the pot of stew and cover the pot for about a minute until the spinach wilts in. Add as much spinach as you like (I used one whole bag of baby spinach), and the rest of the parsley. Taste and adjust for salt and black pepper.
Serve over rice!