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Meatballs with Mashed Kalabasa (Pumpkin) | Farm To Table

Host: Chef JR Royol
Guest: Shuvee Etrata


In the scenic backdrop of a local farm, Chef JR Royol welcomes viewers to a fresh episode of “Farm to Table”. With the golden hues of kalabasa (a type of pumpkin) shining in the background, today’s episode is dedicated to merging classic comfort with local flavors.


For the Meatballs:

  • 500g ground beef or pork
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs (like parsley or cilantro), finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

For the Mashed Kalabasa:

  • 1 large kalabasa, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A dash of nutmeg (optional)

For the Gravy:

  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce


  1. Mashed Kalabasa:
    1. In a large pot, bring salted water to boil. Add the diced kalabasa and cook until soft and fork-tender.
    2. Drain the water and mash the kalabasa until smooth. Add butter, salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg. Mix well until creamy. Set aside.
  2. Meatballs:
    1. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground meat, onion, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, herbs, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well but avoid overmixing.
    2. Shape the mixture into balls, approximately the size of a golf ball.
    3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, sear each meatball until browned on all sides but not fully cooked through. Remove and set aside.
  3. Gravy:
    1. In the same skillet, reduce heat to medium. Melt butter and sprinkle flour. Whisk continuously until a smooth paste (roux) forms.
    2. Slowly pour in the broth while whisking to prevent lumps. Add salt, pepper, and soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce.
    3. Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the gravy thickens.
    4. Return the meatballs to the skillet, allowing them to simmer in the gravy for another 5-7 minutes or until fully cooked.
  4. Assembly:
    1. On a serving plate, spread a generous helping of mashed kalabasa.
    2. Top with meatballs and drizzle with gravy.

Chef JR emphasized the importance of searing the kalabasa to bring out its natural sweetness. The caramelization provides a beautiful contrast to the savory meatballs and rich gravy. Shuvee Etrata, impressed by the flavors, praised the dish for its harmony of flavors and textures.

With a toast to farm-fresh ingredients and innovative dishes, the episode concluded, leaving viewers with a new recipe to try and a renewed appreciation for locally sourced ingredients.

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