Well, just to let you know there is no actual exotic meat in this dish, just plain freshly ground lean beef. I chose this as a retro food 1st because I know I have been making & actually enjoying them for more years than I care to admit. Before that, I was fed these meatballs or a version of them by the cooks in my family. When I first asked about the curious name, I was told it was because the rice grains resemble little porcupine quills! True? I don't know. It is a good story. I am not sure of the origin of the recipe (there are many variations--most more complicated than mine--one is found in my very retro 1967 edition of The Joy of Cooking-p.430). The story of the original recipe as I heard it was that it was devised when pressure cookers became popular way back when and the meatballs could be made quickly. Those of you who are older, probably remember all of the accompanying horror stories of pressure cookers. When I was growing up every kitchen had one, yet I never (fortunately) witnessed any of the awful accidents told by the cooks of the day. Probably a heartfelt warning to keep children away from the hot stove.
Please note the retro dish which contains the meatballs. This is the pattern I chose to live with back in the early 70's and keep them around for old time's sake. Yes, I am very sentimental. (I guess I am a retro relic myself). The recipe for this retro dish is easy and is still a regular on our menu. You can change it to your liking. Spice it up with hot sauce or pepper flakes or google a more complicated version, but this is something that always comes away with an A+ rating, especially served with (don't cringe) instant mashed potatoes, & Le Suere Baby Peas.
I Can Campbells Tomato Soup (10 3/4 ounce size)
2 Soup Cans of Water
1/4 Cup Uncooked Rice (does not need to be instant, but you can use it)
1 to 1 1/2 pounds good ground beef
Finely Chopped onion (about 1/3 Cup)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Mix meat, rice, onion, salt & pepper in a large bowl. Form ping pong ball sized meatballs (or larger if you are my DH and don't want to take the time to make smaller ones). This will make up to 2 dozen. In a large pan mix soup & water over low heat. Gently add meatballs to the soup. Keep the heat low & watch since the soup and any stray rice will want to stick to the bottom of the pan. When you stir, stir gently. The mixture will seem watery, but after about 1 1/2 hours of cooking it thickens nicely, the rice is cooked and you have a wonderful warm bunch of comfort food.
Thank you to Laura Rebecca's Kitchen for hosting this fun event. Can't wait to see & try the other contributions.
You can visit her site @ http://laurarebeccaskitchen.blogspot.com