Spicy Meatball Stew

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I enjoy hearty stews in the winter but I also enjoy them in the warmer months just because I like stews. Since my family doesn’t eat beef too often I decided to create a stew that replaces a typical beef stew using spicy meatballs but still remained hearty.

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When you think meatballs you usually think of beef but meatballs can be made out of ground turkey, chicken or pork. In most recipes that call for a ground meat I use turkey. The one thing about ground turkey is that you must season it really well otherwise it will taste bland. Lately, I prefer baking my meatballs instead of frying them. This eliminates having the meatballs absorb a lot of excess fat. Plus, it is easier to control the heat so the meatballs don’t dry out too much while cooking.

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Spicy Meatball Stew was somewhat of a surprise for my family. I received a few strange glances when I placed a bowl full of stew on the table for dinner. They were use to seeing meatballs floating around in a nice tomato sauce not swimming with veggies and gravy. However, it did not take long for them to trust I had worked my cooking magic so they lunged into their bowls and came up saying “Hmmm… not bad”. The second and third bites had them totally convinced that Spicy Meatball Stew was fantastic and produced smiling faces. It is always nice when the family requests a second helping.

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Spicy Meatball Stew

Ingredients:

Meatballs
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground spicy sausage
2 eggs beaten
½ cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup half and half
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp parsley chopped
½ tsp Adobo
cooking spray

Stew
1 jar beef au jus
1 small bag baby carrots cut in half
1 small bag frozen peas
1 small onion diced
2 stalks celery dice
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 red potatoes cubed
1 cup beef broth
½ cup water
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl mix ground turkey, ground sausage, seasonings and worcestershire. Form meatballs and place on a rimmed baking sheeting sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. If not quite done, meatballs will finish cooking in the stew.

While the meatballs are cooking heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, salt and pepper. Saute for 2 – 3 minutes to let veggies sweat. Add garlic and stir for 1 – 2 minutes. Be careful not to let garlic burn. If necessary, reduce heat. Add remaining ingredients except for peas. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add meatballs and peas. Cook for an additional 20 – 25 minutes. May be eaten alone or served over egg noodles, mashed potatoes or rice.

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