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Meatball Beta Test

It’s a pretty safe bet that you love a nice meatball sandwich. Why? Because everyone loves a nice meatball sandwich, that’s why. Unless you a vegan or something, in which case you are totally on the wrong web site anyway.

With that in mind, my current project it so make insanely good meatballs specifically for sandwiches. This is the recipe as it stands so far – in a break from the tradition here I am posting the “work in progress” before deeming it 100% complete. If you were so inclined, feel free to give it a whirl and dump in some feedback before I commit this to its final form. This weekend I will repost this with any changes and with the requisite silly pictures. If you want to have your say, do it before then.

Quick and dirty instructions after the jump!

For the meatballs:

1 kg ground beef
500 g ground pork
3 eggs
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup water
1 cup crumbs
1 cup finely grated romano cheese
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

(I hope I don’t have to remind you that this is regular ground chuck and regular ground pork – none of this “lean” tomfoolery, please)

Mix all of this well (with your hands, preferably) in a big bowl. Shape into golf-ball sized meatballs. You want the size nice and even, and you should get between 44 and 48 meatballs. Put them on a sheet tray or in a VERY shallow roasting pan and roast them with a wood or charcoal fire at around 190 – 205 degrees C (that is 375 – 400 F and indirect heat, of course) for 45 minutes. Turn them once, after the first 25 minutes. Put them aside.

In a big roasting pan or baking dish, heat up about 2 big spoonfuls of the drippings you got from roasting the meatballs. Add to that:

1 big spanish onion, finely chopped
2 large carrots grated

Saute that for about 5 minutes until the carrot is totally soft and the onions start to get some colour. Add in:

1/4 cup garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 head flat leaf parsley chopped

Saute that for about 2 minutes, then add:

2 cans san marzano crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
2 tsp allspice
1 cinnamon stick
4 bay leaves
1 tsp ancho chili powder

Put that back into your charcoal or wood cooker and let it cook down for about 45 minutes. Taste, and adjust with salt and pepper if needed. Put the meatballs into the dish, make sure they are covered with sauce, cover the dish tightly with foil and let it sit in the cooker for 30 minutes more.

And, done. Serve on soft buns with a bit more romano cheese and a bit more fresh parsley to finish. I like to use the little elongated dinner rolls – they hold exactly 2 meatballs for a little four-bite sandwich that is easy to eat and hold if you have a beer in your other hand.

Give it a shot. Let me know. And check back on the weekend for the final treatment. See you then!