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Terry & Dave Taylor

Russian Meatballs (Tefteli)

Russian Meatballs

Tefteli seem to come in two versions throughout Russia - chicken or veal in a cream sauce, or beef in a tomato sauce. Both incorporate dill and I present here a RV-friendly - no messing frying step - version of Beef Tefteli in a tomato sauce. My mom called them Porcupine Meatballs... maybe yours did as well? NOTE: this recipes uses one onion; divided.

MEATBALLS:
1 egg
3 Tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 of a large onion, minced super-fine
1 pound ground beef (I use 10% fat)
1/2 cup white long-grain rice (do not cook)
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs

SAUCE:
2 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
3/4 of a large onion, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped fine
6 ounce can tomato paste
14 ounce can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 bay leaf

MAKE THE MEATBALLS: Mix the egg with the dill, salt, pepper and onion in a medium bowl. Add the ground beef, raw rice and bread crumbs. Use clean hands to mix well. Set aside while the sauce is prepared.

MAKE THE SAUCE: Heat the bottom of a Dutch oven over medium heat and coat the bottom with the oil. Add the chopped onion; saute until just soft, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped onion and saute for three or four minutes, then stir-in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, stock, paprika and bay leaf. Stir well and bring to a simmer.

Shape meatballs, using 1/4-cup of meat mixture to form firm balls and carefully drop the meatball down into the simmering sauce. Cover, and let the meatballs poach at a very low simmer for one hour - carefully turning each meatball over after 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. Serve with mashed or boiled potatoes, garnished with additional dill, if desired. Makes 12 meatballs. Serves 4 or more.

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Russian Meatballs

Russian Meatballs

Russian Meatballs


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