Meatballs with Lemon Ugly Sauce

I wanted to serve another batch of those amazing porcupine meatballs from just the other day, but one of our guests was not a fan of tomato sauce in any form.  Not even ketchup (yeah, what's up with that???).  Luckily, another sauce recipe happened to be waiting in the wings.  Unluckily, I made a slight error during the cooking procedure and the sauce came out looking quite gross and disgusting.

But happily, it tasted quite delicious.  When you make this sauce, try not to make my jaw-dropping mistake.
Okay, so it's not really jaw-dropping (don't you hate those click-bait sites that suck you in with or "she adds THIS ... you won't believe your eyes"?  Yeah, me too.  You'll never see me using that cheap trick. :P

But I digress...

Naked meatballs. 
Found the sauce, along with another version of porcupine meatballs, on  site of a rice brand (I'm not being paid for this endorsement so you'll have to look at the recipe to find out the brand ... the librarian in me forces me to disclose its source).  Already having a great porcupine meatball recipe, I skipped over that portion of the recipe and glommed onto the lemon sauce portion.  To be honest, it didn't really grab me, but I wasn't in the mood to resurrect my Swedish meatball sauce (in hard-copy, I never got around to share here), plus I had lemons lying around, so I went with this new, untested one for previously mentioned company.   Because it was just 3 ingredients.  And I enjoy working without a net.

Unlike the tomato soup sauce, where the meatballs cook themselves over the course of 20 minutes in the sauce, this sauce is supposed to briefly come to a simmer.  Not anywhere near long enough to cook thoroughly.  So  I browned them for a good 10 or so minutes.  A little faster in the time department, but a lot more hands-on.  Well, really, spatula-on.  But you get the idea.

The sauce was mad-easy to put together, but after pouring it over the meatballs, I went off to do something else and got totally distracted.  TIP ALERT!  Don't wander off somewhere else when making a lemon sauce.  Even if it looks very liquidy.  Because when you remember that you left the meatballs in a liquidy lemon sauce on the stove, you will find that virtually all the liquid evaporated and that what is left in the pot has curdled most ugly-y.  And not in a good way, either.

Despite the curdled mess, the sauce was still delicious.  So I served them anyway, while repeating my mantra about how they taste much better than they look.   Everyone politely nibbled a meatball.  Then gobbled up the rest.  Yay!  So I suggest that if you manage to mess up the sauce, just turn the lights down.  Light a few candles.  And serve copious amounts of wine.  And tell your guests that the sauce is supposed to look that way.  You're welcome.

Meatballs with Lemon Ugly Sauce
Adapted from Caroline Rice
Yield:  approximately 1 1/2 cups sauce

1/2 recipe of Porcupine Meatballs (skip the sauce)
1 Tbl. olive oil
2 large eggs
2 (12 oz.) cans beef broth
Juice of  4 lemons (approx. 1/2 -2/3 cup lemon juice)
chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Prepare meatballs according to directions.  Set aside.

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, add oil, wait 10 seconds, then add prepared meatballs.

 Brown meatballs all over.  Reduce heat to medium; continue to cook meatballs until no longer pink in center and rice softens, about another 10-15 minutes.

While meatballs are sauteing, in a 4 cup measuring cup, whisk eggs into broth.  Continue to whisk while slowing pour in lemon juice.

Not out of focus.  Just curdled sauce.

When meatballs are cooked through, pour sauce over meatballs.  Bring sauce to a simmer; reduce heat to medium-low.  Continue to simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.  Immediately remove from heat.

Plate meatballs.  Spoon remaining sauce over meatballs.  Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired, before serving.


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