Cajun meatball stew: Not many foods make me feel…homey…you know what I mean, quite like Cajun meatball stew does. I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the dish, but very simply, it’s meatballs and veggies cooked and simmered in a luscious, dark roux.
I heard you groan when I said dark roux. No, don’t even. Just stop. Making a dark roux is very easy if you make an oven roux or look, just buy it in a jar guys. There is no shame in that. I make a double batch (or triple) in the oven and freeze it. Yes, I freeze roux and it’s a life saver.
In this recipe though, I’m calling for jarred roux. You can make a roux fresh, but with the jarred roux it’s just so much quicker and you can slap this on the table whenever.
Now that we’ve got past the roux part, the recipe is deceptively simple, but so. freaking. good. I like to make some very easy, homemade meatballs. But you can use your favorite recipe or even frozen meatballs. I haven’t tried with frozen, but you do you.
My meatball recipe is very basic and I, just like the roux, usually double or triple the recipe, bake it all at once and freeze for later, to toss in something delicious, like this meatball stew or my slow cooker spaghetti.
You can make the meatballs for this Cajun meatball stew as big or as small as you want, it depends on what you like and how many people you’re feeding. You don’t want to feed a family on two huge balls, you get me?
So let’s get to this. Just imagine…meatballs, in a rich roux/gravy, chock full of veggies. Let me tell you, it sticks to your ribs!
Cajun Meatball Stew
- 1.5 pounds ground beef
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/2-1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese 3
- 3 cloves minced or grated garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, EACH
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 tablespoons roux
- 3 cups beef broth
- 6 medium red potatoes, diced
- 2 cans sliced carrots, drained well
- Tabasco to taste, the green is my favorite in this
- chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- cooked white rice
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Add all the meatball ingredients to a large bowl. Mix until just combined. Don't work the crap out of it. Be gentle.
Form into balls, however big you want it. Bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on size. Remove and set aside.
Add a bit of oil to a large skillet. When hot, add in your chopped onion. Cook until just softened.
Add in the roux and get that melted and worked into the veggies. This should only take a minute or two.
Add beef broth and whisk until it becomes one. Just a big ole pot of roux/gravy.
Add the meatballs to the pot, along with the Tabasco, bell pepper, carrots and potatoes. Try to make sure your meatballs are sitting in the liquid, not on top.
Bring it up to a low boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, with the lid cracked, until the potatoes are done and you like the thickness, stirring gently every now and again. Taste about halfway through and decide if you need more spice or salt.
Depending on your veggies, how big the potatoes are and how much liquid they throw off, this time could vary. You can always remove the lid and cook the liquid off a bit quicker.
While you got this simmering, go ahead and cook your white rice, by whichever method you choose. Me, I'm always going with a rice cooker, for that perfect, fluffy, Cajun rice, but you do you.
When you like the way it looks and your potatoes are tender, you're done. Cut the heat, top with some fresh parsley and serve over rice.
I want to mention a couple of things:
1. THIS IS A FREEZER CHAMP! I wouldn’t freeze it for a year but it’s still perfect within 3 months of freezing.
2. While this seems like a lot of work, you can minimize the load if you have premade, frozen meatballs and frozen cooked rice. Make a big batch of each and freeze. Don’t be afraid. Make sure your meatballs are defrosted before tossing them into the pot and heat the rice, from frozen, in the microwave covered with a damp towel – it comes out like fresh.
Now, if you can’t have all that done, this is still not a huge time-consumer. While your meatballs are in the oven, go ahead and follow all the instructions, minus the meatballs. Once the veggies are tender and the roux is combined and the veggies are in there, just turn the heat off if the meatballs aren’t done. Once they’re done, toss them in, nestling them in the liquid and bring to a low boil and simmer. While that’s going, cook your rice.
HAVE YOU MADE THIS? TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK!