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Russian Meatballs (Tefteli)

Indio, California: Today I am sharing the recipe from the February Newsletter - Russian Meatballs. The March Newsletter will be emailed in a few days. If you wish to receive the free monthly newsletter, sign up here. Your email address is kept private and there is an unsubscribe option at the bottom of each issue.

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.

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

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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SLOGGER REPORT: 4 miles around the block.

Until my next update, I remain, your beefy correspondent.

RV PARK: The Motorcoach Country Club - The Crown Jewel of Motorcoach Resorts. 400 sites, three pools, three spas, fitness center, golf, bocce ball, tennis, 2-mile waterway, fine-dining restaurant, bar, security, planned activities, perfectly maintained. Sites for sale or rent.