Cajun Meatball Fricassee

Ingredients

Protein

bacon1 pound, chopped into 1/2" pieces
ground beef1 pound
ground pork1 pound

Produce

onion1 large, diced
green bell pepper1, deseeded and diced
celery2 stalks, diced
garlic2 cloves

Dry Goods

white flour1/4 cup
chicken broth4 cups
Worcestershire sauce1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon
Italian-style breadcrumbs1/2 cup

Dairy

whole milk1/4 cup
egg(s)2 large

Instructions

Bring some southern flavor home with this hugely flavorful meatball dish. The fricassee sauce is thickened with white flour, seasoned with bacon, and even better the next day. If it gets too thick, add a little water or more broth until you’ve reached a desired consistency. Not into white rice? Swap in egg noodles- you’ll want something starch to counter-balance the rich flavor.

    1. Preheat oven to 400*F. 
    2. In a large pot over medium heat, fry the bacon until the fat has begun to render and the bacon softesn. 
    3. Add the onion, pepper, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onions have begun to soften, about 3-5 minutes. 
    4. Add the flour and cook, stirring often, until the flour has begun to brown, about 3 minutes. 
    5. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and then the Worcestershire, stirring constantly to prevent lumps.  
    6. Bring the heat to a simmer and let cook until it has reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes. 

While the sauce is thickening, cook the meatballs.

    1. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
    2. In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients. Stir, using a wooden spoon or clean hands, until thoroughly combined. 
    3. Use spoons or a small ice cream scoop to form meatballs into balls about 2” wide. 
    4. Place meatballs on the sheet pan, leaving about half an inch of space between each meatball. 
    5. Bake 12-15 minutes or until browned and cooked all the way through, with no pink remaining. 

While the meatballs are cooking, make the rice:

  1. Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear, then transfer to a pot with a tight-fitting lid. 
  2. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the rice by one inch, then bring to a boil. 
  3. Remove the lid and bring the heat down to a simmer, and let cook until the water has dissolved. 
  4. When the meatballs are cooked, transfer them to the fricassee sauce and toss gently to coat. 
  5. Serve the meatballs and sauce over white rice.

Prep Plan

Prep it for later:
1. Cook the rice as directed and set aside until cool to the touch, then transfer to a resealable bag or container and store.
2. Chop bacon, onion, peppers, celery, and garlic and add to a resealable bag or container.
3. Combine meatballs ingredients and stir, using a wooden spoon or clean hands, to thoroughly combine. Transfer to a large resealable bag or container.
4. (optional) If you’ve got the time while prepping, you can make the sauce all the way through and hold as it freezes well. Follow the instructions for making the sauce in the recipe above, then cool to room temperature and store in a sealed container.
5. (optional) If you’ve got time on prepping day, you can also form the meatballs from the mixture. Place on a plate or sheet pan and freeze til solid, then transfer to a large resealable bag or container and store in the freezer until cooking day.
Freeze for up to 3 months or store in the fridge for 5-7 days.

You’ll need:
1 bag of bacon and chopped vegetables (or container or prepared sauce; see Prep For Later instructions)
1 bag of meatball mixture (or formed meatballs; see Prep For Later for instructions)
1 bag with cooked white rice
On cooking day: flour, chicken broth, cooked white rice

Prepare from prepped: If frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight.
1. Preheat the oven to 400*F
If you already made the sauce on prep day:
2. Transfer thawed prepared sauce to a large pot over medium heat and slowly bring to a simmer, stirring often.
3. While the sauce is heating, form the meatballs (if needed) and transfer to a large sheet pan lined with parchment paper or foil.
4. Bake meatballs 12-15 minutes until browned and cooked all the way through.
5. Transfer meatballs to sauce and toss gently to coat.
6. Reheat rice in the microwave or on the stove, then serve with the sauce and meatballs.
If you haven’t made the sauce on prep day:
1. Preheat the oven to 400*F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
2. Transfer the contents of the sauce bag to a large pot over medium heat.
3. Once the bacon starts rendering and the vegetables start to soften (after about 3-5 minutes), add the flour and stir to coat.
4. After the flour has started to brown slightly, slowly pour in the chicken broth and Worcestershire, stirring to smooth out any lumps.
5. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let the sauce reduce and thicken slightly.
6. While the sauce is cooking, transfer the meatballs to the sheet pan and place in the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
7. Transfer the meatballs to the sauce and gently toss to coat.
8. Serve over white rice.