Meatball Fricassée
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
As long as you’re making this dish, be sure to make as many meatballs as you can. There’s nothing better than the day-after, meatball po'boy or the third-day-after meatballs and spaghetti or the…okay, you get the idea.
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Serves: 8
Cajun Meatballs
  • 6 slices white sandwich bread
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup minced garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck, 80/20 fat content
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 pound ground short rib
  • 1 cup crumbled Ritz crackers
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of hot sauce
Fricassée Gravy
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 4 tablespoons dark roux, such as Rox's Roux
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 8 cups cooked Louisiana long-grain white rice, such as Supreme
  • 1 cup diced green onion tops
Cajun Meatballs
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Remove the outer crust from the white sandwich bread and place the crust-less slices in a bowl. Pour over the milk and crack the eggs into the mixture. Add the Worcestershire and the cheese. With your hands, break up the bread, combine and leave to soak.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the holy trinity — onions, bell pepper, and celery — until tender. Add the garlic, parsley, and herbs and continue to cook until the onions begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add all the meat and break into small pieces. Mix all the meats together evenly. Add the egg and bread mixture and combine. Add the vegetable and herb mixture and combine. Add the cracker crumbs along with the spices and a good dash of Tabasco to taste. Combine all and form into golf ball-sized meatballs of the same size.
  5. In a large cast-iron pot with a heavy lid over medium-high heat, add the remaining olive oil. When the oil reaches the smoking point, add the meatballs in batches and brown them on all sides.
  6. On a large sheet tray lined with foil, add all the meatballs. Insert the meatballs into the oven and let bake for 45 minutes. Once done, remove them from the oven and keep warm.
Fricassée Gravy
  1. While the meatballs are baking, it's time to make the gravy. Add the second round of the holy trinity — onions, bell pepper, and celery — to the pot and brown for 5 minutes. Add the roux to the pot and pour in the chicken stock. Stir all of the vegetables until the roux is completely melted into the stock and it thickens.
  2. Lower the heat to simmer and add the meatballs to the gravy. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
  3. Ladle the meatballs and gravy over a mound of white rice. Garnish with a sprinkle of green onion tops. Serve with hot French bread for soaking up the gravy and a bottle of hot sauce (of course) on the side.
For convenience, I am using my wife's Rox's Roux jarred roux in this recipe, but feel free to make your own by following the step-by-step recipe in my story about Rox's Roux. I love the flavor beef short rib adds to the meatballs. I grind my short ribs in a food processor; remove the meat from the bone, chop into chunks, and pulse in the food processor until ground.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at