Meatball Stew Recipe
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Tasty and economical, meatballs make quick work of stew. Can be made ahead, refrigerated (up to several days), and reheated to serve. Use the rice option to make gluten-free version.
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1 pound lean ground meat (beef, turkey, lamb, etc)
1/2 cup cooked rice or bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano (substitute basil or marjoram if preferred)
2 tablespoons oil or butter
2 cups dry red wine (substitute beef or chicken broth)
4 medium carrots, cut into 1
4 medium potatoes, cut into 1
1 can tomatoes, about 28 oz., with juice; or 4 cups cut up raw tomatoes
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
:Dutch oven or large ( 4 - 5 qt. ) heavy saucepan with lid, food processor
Pulse until smooth in food processor: 1 coarsely chopped onion, 1 egg, rice or breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon crumbled dry oregano. Add uncooked ground meat and roughly mix in by hand, then pulse to make a smooth mix. Shape into 20 - 24 fairly uniform meatballs. (Chilling the meat mixture makes this easier, if you have time).
Heat oil in Dutch oven or saucepan. Add meatballs in batches and brown. Set browned meatballs aside (use inverted pan lid to minimize cleanup). Blot or pour off excess fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon and all browned bits. Add the second onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for several minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of the wine, bring to a boil and stir to dissolve browned bits. Add remaining wine, the vegetables, meatballs and bay leaf. Cover and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender, 20 - 30 minutes.
Remove bay leaf, season to taste with salt and pepper, and ladle into individual bowls to serve.
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