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Nanny Bird’s Meatball Stew

Meatball stew is a hearty fall and winter favorite in South Louisiana. It’s good, old fashioned Cajun comfort food and a staple on our family’s holiday spreads. Serve with toothpicks as a casual appetizer, or over rice dressing as a meal.
My grandmother’s sister, Nanny Bird, perfected the recipe. And we haven’t changed it one bit.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground veal
  • 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dark roux (store-bought or see Turbo Roux recipe)
  • water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground meat, breadcrumbs, eggs, bell peppers, celery, garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and 2/3 of the diced onions. Set the remaining onion aside.
  3. Once thoroughly combined, form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs. Arrange meatballs on a sheet pan.
  4. Brown in the oven at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes. Rotate the balls once during baking.
  5. In a large dutch oven pot, heat 2 tablespoons of dark roux and the remaining onions over medium heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Place the meatballs in the pot and add just enough water to cover.
  7. Simmer on medium heat for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  8. While cooking, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

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