This hearty recipe has stood the test of time: I got it from my aunt, who is 90 years old. She was making it for herself one afternoon, and it smelled so good I begged for a taste. After I tasted it, I had to have the recipe, and now I’m passing it on to the Living magazine readers.
This is a good meal for a busy day. It’s got meat and vegetables all in one pan. It is easy to prepare and uses basic ingredients, so you don’t have to spend time hunting down hard-to-find items. The meal can be prepared with one bowl, one measuring cup, a paring knife and a spoon, so clean up is easy. Once the meal is in the oven it doesn’t need any more attention.
And this is a meal you can customize for your family. I left the potatoes unpeeled this time and liked the results. If you don’t like celery, leave it out. I use plain tomato sauce — which was all that was available for many years — but a seasoned tomato sauce would kick things up a notch. Ground turkey could be substituted for ground beef. I used 93 percent lean ground beef and fat-free gravy for my latest batch and the sauce was still rich and satisfying. Put this in the oven, walk away and enjoy a homemade meal two hours later.
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
2 tablespoons dry spaghetti sauce seasoning
1/3 cup cracker crumbs
1/3 cup milk
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 diced onion
3 or four large carrots, peeled ad cut into large chunks
Two or three ribs of celery
4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled or not, cut into large chunks
For the sauce
2 tablespoons dry spaghetti sauce seasonings
1 12-ounce jar beef gravy
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 8-ounce can mushrooms, drained
Half a can of water
- Mix the meat, cracker crumbs, milk, spaghetti sauce seasoning and onion; season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Form into 12 meatballs and place in a roaster or other large baking dish.
- Top with vegetables.
- Mix sauce ingredients well and pour over the top.
- Cover the roaster and cook at 350 F. for two hours.