MeatBalls With Rice & Gravy (Classic)


The author/chef writes – “I have many fond memories of eating this dish growing up. There are as many variations as there are cooks in Acadiana, all of them wonderful. This is a recipe that I think everyone in the Acadian culture has had, and does not share with outsiders. It’s time. I have prepared this for friends in Houston and they loved it.”


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup flour for dusting meatballs
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (pan-fry) (Reserve some oil for gravy)
  • 2 medium yellow onions chopped
  • 3/4 cup bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 4 cups rice
  • 1/2 tsp salt per cup of rice
  • water or chicken stock


Step 1

Put 4 cups rice to cook with ½ teaspoon salt per cup of rice.

Step 2

Meatballs: For the meatballs gently mix all ingredients listed with the exception of the flour for dusting, the rice and salt for the rice. Heat oil in a heavy cast iron pan. Have flour ready for dusting meatballs in a bowl. Form golf ball sized meatballs should be about 6-8 per pound of meat mixture. Dust formed meat in flour and place into hot oil. Let meatballs brown in oil for about 7-9 minutes per side. Once the meatballs are fried remove and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Step 3

Gravy: Medium-High heat. Drain Oil down to 1/3 cup of oil in pan leave drippings in pan. Place onion & bell pepper mixture into pot. Mix thoroughly with oil. Let the mixture begin to brown. Stir about every 4 minutes. About 10-12 minutes into process add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of warm water to the pan, and deglaze pot with flat wooden spatula.

Step 4

Continue the browning process stirring every 4 minutes. Repeat the water ever 10-12 minutes. The gravy should take approximately 30-35 minutes to complete. So, three watering-deglazing intervals should do it. Once the mixture is completely brown, add the seasoning and 1 1/2 cups water.

Step 5

Add the meatballs and bring the gravy to simmer/boil for about 15 minutes. Served over the cooked rice.

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Cow Island, Louisiana Louisiana
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