It’s supper time! If you are a real Nebraskan you probably call your evening meal “supper” (or at least called it that growing up). I want to introduce you to one of my favorite Nebraska suppers.
When I met my friend Amy, who grew up on a farm in Nebraska, she made me Reuben Meatballs. I feel like these epitomize Nebraska suppers. For one, the Reuben was created in Nebraska (Omaha to be specific). Secondly, this dish combines beef, sauerkraut, cream of mushroom soup, Swiss cheese, caraway seeds, and miracle whip. I don’t think you can get much more Nebraskan than that….considering our strong German and Czech backgrounds. I don’t care for meatballs, and I am not the biggest fan of the Reuben (unless it’s made with a meat other than Corned Beef) but these “balls” are delicious.
I generally stray a bit from this recipe because I never have a 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef…I usually just have 1 pound and then still add the same amounts of the rest of the recipe. Oh well, they turn out fine. I think it’s also a good idea to make sure you are using ground beef from your local farmer so you know there isn’t any pink goo in it.
Official Recipe with notes from Amy:
1 c. cooked rice
1 1/2lbs. hamburger
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1 sm. onion, minced
1/3 c. bread crumbs
1/3 c. crushed cornflakes
salt and pepper
2 c. sauerkraut, drained (I recommend more if you dig the kraut)
1 can mushroom soup
1 c. miracle whip
1/4 lb swiss cheese, grated (I recommend closer to 8-10 oz.)
Combine first 8 ingredients, shape into balls. Cover each meatball with kraut. Place in greased baking dish. Sprinkle caraway seeds on top (definately optional–not recommended if you aren’t from German heritage). Top with the mushroom soup and miracle whip mixture (a.k.a white-trash casserole staple), spreading to cover the top of the balls. Sprinkle with swiss cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
NOTE: It looks disgusting, doesn’t smell better (if you are kraut shy), however, it is superb, especially if you are eating it the next day when the flavors have really blended. Served best with a microbrew and a toast to my mom.
If you are feeling weird about eating so much meat and cream, serve the balls with some sauteed kale and beet greens and wash it down with a local beer (I went with Lucky Bucket Lager).