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Porcupine Meatballs Pressure Cooker

Porcupine Meatballs Pressure Cooker


SERVES 4 to 5 – Cooker: 5- to 8-quart – Time: 5 minutes at HIGH pressure


  • 3 cups plain tomato sauce (such as Muir Glen)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • grated zest of 1 lemon.
  • juice of 1 large or 2 medium lemons


  • 1½ pounds ground beef, or a combination of 1 pound ground beef and ½ pound ground pork, veal, or venison
  • ½ cup raw long-grain white rice (don’t try this with any other kind of rice)
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onion or white part of green onions
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 10 grinds black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup water


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon water (optional)
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional).


  1. Make the sauce
  2. In medium saucepan, combine the tomato sauce, oil, chili powder, tomato paste, salt, and lemon zest and lemon
  3. Whisk to incorporate the tomato paste
  4. Over medium-high heat, bring the tomato sauce to a rapid simmer
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, while you make the meatballs
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the ground meats, rice, onion, parsley, pepper, and salt
  7. Blend well with your hands or a fork
  8. Form into 2-inch balls (a mini ice cream scoop works nicely for this)
  9. You will get 17 to 18
  10. If you want to make the meatballs ahead, refrigerate them while you make the sauce
  11. Chilling makes the meatballs hold together better
  12. Pour the water into a 5- to 8-quart pressure cooker
  13. Set the meatballs side by side in the water; don’t stack them on top of each other
  14. You may have to cook the meatballs in two batches
  15. Pour the sauce on top
  16. Do not stir
  17. Close and lock the lid
  18. Set the burner heat to high
  19. When the cooker reaches HIGH pressure, reduce the burner heat as low as you can and still maintain HIGH pressure
  20. Set a timer to cook for 5 minutes
  21. Remove the pot from the heat
  22. Open the cooker with the Natural Release method; let stand for 15 minutes
  23. Be careful of the steam as you remove the lid
  24. Check the meatballs for doneness by splitting one open and making sure that the rice on the inside is thoroughly cooked
  25. If not, lock the lid back in place and let the meatballs steam in the residual heat for a minute or two without bringing them back to pressure
  26. Gently lift the meatballs from the pot with a slotted spoon and set in a warm serving dish
  27. If the sauce is too thin for your taste, boil vigorously over high heat until reduced to the desired consistency
  28. Alternatively, blend the cornstarch with the 1 tablespoon water and stir it into the sauce
  29. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens
  30. Pour over the meatballs
  31. Serve the meatballs with some sauce spooned over, with Parmesan cheese on the side

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