This homey, old-fashioned recipe was due for a comeback—if only we could get the rice and the ground meat on the same schedule.
Why This Recipe Works
What happens when you add raw rice to ground meat, form it into balls, and cook it? As the rice swells, it sticks out of the meatball like porcupine quills—hence the name. But rice takes longer to cook than meat, and the ground beef was tough and dry by the time the rice was soft. Adding a panade (a mixture of bread and milk) to the lean meat helps keep it moist, as does fattier (and more flavorful) bratwurst. Finally, parboiling the rice for just 8 minutes before adding it to the meat mixture ensures tender rice and moist meat.
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