Congratulations! You’ve gotten past the Passover Seder meal(s) and lived to tell the tale. The pressure’s off and it’s just you and your nuclear family. But it’s only Day 2 of the 8-day holiday and you’ve still gotta eat. Time to start thinking of some more casual meals, and maybe using up those leftover matzo balls.
If the kids are back in school and you’re back to work, you’ve probably prepared a couple of batches of these Passover Rolls for your lunches. You might remember that I adapted that recipe from a 1960’s Manischewitz recipe folder that they used to give out around the holiday. One of those folders included a recipe for a meatball “stew” which used your leftover matzo balls and included a can of their Tomato Mushroom sauce. Well, if your grocery store is anything like mine, if you can find the product at all, the price has gone right through the roof (yeah, they know they’ve got you!).
I make my version of this Meatball/Matzo Ball Stew every year, but lost the actual recipe quite a long time ago, and stopped using the commercial tomato mushroom sauce even longer ago than that. You know what? You don’t need it. No leftover matzo balls? Well, if you don’t want to make a fresh batch, just cut up a couple of potatoes. It’s all good.
For the Meatballs:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup matzo meal
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbs. ketchup
1 Tbs. vegetable or peanut oil
Combine everything, except the oil, in a medium bowl until well-mixed.
Heat the oil in a large (about 6 quart) pot over medium-high heat. Form the meat mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball and brown in the oil gently, turning occasionally.
For the Sauce:
1 medium onion, peeled & coarsely chopped
3-4 carrots, scraped & sliced into 1/2″ – 1″ pieces
2 ribs celery, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt & Pepper
Matzo balls or 2 – 3 medium potatoes, cut into roughly 1″ pieces
Add the vegetables to the pot with the meatballs, lower heat to medium and stir occasionally, cooking until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add the diced tomatoes, fill the empty can with water and add that to the pot, as well. Season with the garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine well.
Add the matzo balls or potatoes, and bring to a boil. If your matzo balls are very large, cut them in half or quarters.
Cover the pot tightly and simmer for about 30 minutes. Uncover, stir, and simmer uncovered for about another 10 minutes to reduce the liquid.
This is one of my favorite Passover dishes, and like all stews, it tastes even better the next day!