Pork Meatballs

Total Time:
1 hr 35 min
Prep:
30 min
Cook:
1 hr 5 min

Yield:
20 to 25 meatballs, approximately
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground pork (lean but not too lean), cut from the pork shoulder
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup tightly packed curly parsley leaves with stems, washed, dried and chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup bread crumbs, toasted
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable oil, plus 1 tablespoon for testing
  • My Mother's Marinara Sauce, recipe follows
  • My Mother's Marinara Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled, halved and diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 cups water, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup basil leaves, washed
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe

Add the meat to a large bowl, spread it out and season with salt, to taste. Add the remaining ingredients leaving the bread crumbs until last. Mix until all the ingredients are combined. Create a small patty and test it in a small saute pan in 1 tablespoon of oil. When browned on both sides, taste and reseason the meat mixture, if needed. Roll the mixture into about 20 to 25 or so balls that are about 2 inches in diameter.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, shut off the heat to avoid splattering, add the meatballs in a single layer and spread them somewhat apart so they have a chance to brown instead of steam. You may need to do this in batches. Brown the meatballs, over high heat, turning them so they brown all around. Treat them like hamburgers and cook them until they are medium-rare, about 3 to 5 minutes. Touch them to make sure they are still tender in the center. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove them from the pan to a tray and cook off the remaining balls, if needed.

Add the meatballs to the hot tomato sauce and allow them to bubble slightly and simmer over very low heat for a few minutes. Shut off the heat and allow the mixture to rest for a few additional minutes before serving.

My Mother's Marinara Sauce:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, the garlic, red pepper flakes, and sugar and season with salt, to taste. Stir in the carrots and reseason with salt. Cook for about 2 minutes, and then add canned tomatoes. Use a wooden spoon to break up some of the whole tomatoes and cook over medium heat, stirring from time to time, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add half of the water to prevent the veggies from getting too dry and continue cooking another 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning. The tomatoes should be fairly broken down and the flavors coming together. Add remaining water, as needed, and cook for an additional 10 minutes. The sauce cooks about as long as it takes to make the meatballs from start to finish, about 45 minutes. Stir in the basil leaves and season with Parmesan.


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4.6 53
delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very good! I made the meatballs and the marinara sauce. I used a can of crushed tomatoes for the sauce instead of whole, and then omitted the water all together. Otherwise I followed the recipe word for word. I served meatballs over Giada's cheesy polenta. Yum! item not reviewed by moderator and published
These were absolutely fabulous! The sauce is wonderful and will surely use it in other dishes. I used 93 percent lean ground pork and it was moist and flavorful. This is the first recipe I've attempted from Chef Alex and will now try many more:) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these meatballs according to the directions. I didn't need all the water and, in the future, I would use crushed tomatoes instead of whole (just a personal preference). Overall, these were a smash hit! They were juicy and flavorful and I will be making them again! Thanks, Alex! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these and I loved them, I made (my own mothers marinara sauce, but I think I'm going to try Alex's mothers marinara next time. Great dish!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Unfailingly delicious! I use either a half and half mixture of ground beef and pork or the original recipe....either way I'vegotten raves from kids and adults alike. Try it without a concern....and don't let the sour cream fool you! It's important to the dish but doesn't scream SOUR CREAM! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Meatballs were ok overall. I was not quite sure how much salt to add to the meat. I, like others, was cautious with the red pepper flake (only ended up using 2/3 tsp in the sauce. I really liked the sauce but my husband, being used to more tomato flavor, just though it was ok. I tasted it after cooking and decided to pure it. The sauce has a real nice sweetness and came out creamy but separated a bit when put on spaghetti. I only ended up needing 2 cups of water. I thought the dish was better without the meatballs, but I'm not a big meat eater anyway. I served the meatballs on top. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious meatballs. I made them with 300 grams of ground pork, not sure how many ounces that is. The fennel seeds and sour cream really give them a fantastic and creamy flavor. I paired them with Paula Deen's pumpkin orzo and they tasted great together. Next time I'll have to try them with the tomato sauce. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great meatballs! I even used half the amount of red chili flakes because I was scared of them being to spicy and they still turned out great. I'm using the meatballs for spaghetti tonight and tomorrow I will use the left over meatballs for a sub! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent, Excellent. I don't like to fry, so I cooked the meatballs for few minutes on each side. They did brown evenly. I also pureed the sauce just a little. The flavor is so good. Something different to have a small patty shape. I also served with spaghetti. Left overs would be great as a hoagie sandwich with cheese. Yummy item not reviewed by moderator and published
We were so "turkeyed" out after 3 1/2 days of Thanksgiving turkey, turkey panninis, turkey soup, etc, that I decided to make these Sunday, including the marinara sauce. My family absolutely LOVED these meatballs! Served them with spaghetti and we were in heaven. I plan on making them often. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried these because I had a pork loin that needed to be used. With no meat grinder in the kitchen, I ran it through the food processor (which worked very well!. No fennel in the house, so I used anise. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as written. WOW!!! We like spicy food, so the heat was welcome. My husband went nuts over the meatballs and has insisted that I use this recipe from now on. Definitely keeping this one in my recipe "tickler file". Thanks Alex! item not reviewed by moderator and published
WOW is all I can say Alex!!! I did not think my family would like these because I make really good meatballs and I was nervous about the sour cream - I never heard of that before in Meatballs. After I fried them and put them in my sauce to finish cooking I went upstairs and when I came down my husband had a plate and was eating "them". He said - "you have made really great meatballs BUT THESE ARE THE BEST ONES YOU HAVE EVER MADE - I CAN'T STOP EATING THEM - I ALREADY HAD 3!!! I served them over speghetti - they REALLY WERE FANTASTIC - WHAT FLAVOR THE FENNEL SEEDS GAVE THEM - THEY WERE VERY MOIST AND THE KICK FROM THE HOT PEPPER. I don't know what the sour cream did but WOW is all I can keep saying. The "only" tiny thing I did different was add a little minced garlic because I love garlic in my meatballs. My husband said "make these when my brother comes" Thanks for the really great recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Agree with other evals. The flavor and texture of the meatballs are terrific! As an aside...because my grand kids do not like the texture of some spices (e.g. carraway, fennel, etc....I use asmall coffee bean grinder for the fennel and ref pepper flakes. Use the powder section of both BUT do follow the recipe exactly as written. Again, the flavor and texture of these pork meatballs are terrific! Thanks. Annie , Fremont , CA item not reviewed by moderator and published
After pressure from my Girlfriend to cook her a meal and it being the first time i have ever cooked, on an oven as oppose to the Microwave I wanted to prepare something that i was familiar with Spaghetti & Meatballs. I followed the recipe to the exact, and bought all the ingredients in the fine produce sections as well as from a Local Meat Market. Not only did my Girlfriend love the meal but her family did as well and they were talking about it for a few days afterwards. Thanks Chef Guarnaschelli. Its a great twist with the lean ground pork and the fresh ingredients, cheese and peeled tomatoes really shine in this dish. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely my favorite meatball recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Followed this recipe exactly and it worked out great. The only thing I did differently was grind up the fennel seeds...I cut everything in half because there was only 2 of us eating this. Tastes just like sausage! I froze the extra meatballs and sliced them and added them into a lasagna...everyone loved this. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was easy and delicious! I will make this often. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made these twice. I love the idea of adding sour cream to the meatballs; it makes the meatballs super moist. Really great recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Love, love, love this recipe. Family loved the flavor and asks for it all the time. Thanks Alex!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious. I used ground turkey instead of pork and they were still wonderful. My hubby and I typically are fans of meatballs as an entree but these were great and enjoyed by both of us. This is not a quick fix meal but definitely worth the effort. Will make these again...soon! item not reviewed by moderator and published
OMG - this is the best meatball recipe I've ever had! I used fresh ground turkey in place of the port to reduce the fat. My 15 year old son tried one before dinner started - his eyes rolled in the back of his head and he described them as melting like butter in your mouth. Very flavorful. We're going to try this recipe as hamburgers this weekend. Awesome! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made the recipe twice and like the results of my changes better than the original, thus the 4 stars. I bruised the fennel seed, used chicken broth for the water, used 2 cans of whole tomatoes, and used a hand blender to reduce the chunkiness. To the meatballs, I added 6 large cloves of pressed garlic and some black pepper. Delish item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great taste and texture item not reviewed by moderator and published
Loved these recipes! Made both as written except for reducing the red pepper in the sauce and served over polenta--rave reviews and now added to family cookbook! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Love, love, love. We made all the dishes from this episode and all were good. The meatballs were terrific. We followed the directions without modification. This will definitely be a recipe we will do over and over. Thanks Alex!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I LOVE THESE MEATBALLS!! They are so DELICIOUS... The sour cream really keeps them moist in the middle. The fennel seed was wonderful flavor addition. They didn't fall apart they were perfect and nice and golden brown! I can't wait to make them for my husbands Italian family they are going to love them. This is a definite recipe for keeps. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm never a big fan of reviews that call a recipe great and then explain all they did to modify it, so I think this is a good base recipe you can tweak to your tastes - which is what I did. The ratios she uses work well for the base pieces and you can add what you want. I added balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, italian seasoning herbs and onion powder. I skipped the fennel seeds because I didn't want to go too far towards a sausage flavor. The sour cream is a great touch! Not sure what Dorothy did that hers fell apart, but mine had no problem. I did put them in the refridge to set for about an hour, I do this with hamburger recipes as well, maybe that could help in keeping them together. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The flavor was good but the meatballs completely fell apart upon browning. What a hassle! Won't try this one again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made the meatballs and marinara sauce this week after seeing it on Food Network this weekend. My son came into the kitchen and tasted the sauce. His first comment was "It is perfect". That is a complement! Then I proceeded with the meatballs and simmered them in the sauce. I only got rave reviews. The only ingredient I did not have was the fennel seeds...I purchased them today. Can't wait to try something else. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a very easy recipe I followed it to a "T" and the only thing I would do differently is to cut the red pepper flakes by half in both the sauce and meatballs....I love spicy, hot foods but it was a bit much....as for the flavors, they were wonderful and the fennel seeds so flavorful and there was certainly nothing BLAND about this dish! item not reviewed by moderator and published
thank you so much for sharing this recipe and to tell you I didn't think my family would like them ,boy was i so wrong they ate them ALL !!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed the recipe and fried up a small one to taste and I thought they were lacking in flavor. I added plenty of fresh cracked black pepper and garlic to enhance the flavor. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Well, my husband hates meatballs because he says they are always mushy and tasteless like bread instead of meat. So we watched your show and as you made your meatballs he kept saying "Oh, hmmm....wow...." and etc. so I said, "but you don't like meatballs" to which he replied "I'm pretty sure I would like these!" So short story...he and I love them. I have wanted to make good meatballs forever and now I can. Talk about comfort food. Savory, moist, yummy and just big enough to pop in your mouth and enjoy a good chew all mixed in with the wonderful tomato sauce...mmmmm! Thanks! P.S. You are really good at making a person extraordinarily hungry while you are cooking. Could practically smell the kitchen! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been trying to find that perfect meatball for years and finally my biggest critic (my son) said I finally did it! These were the best meatballs I have not only ever made but eaten! I do not add the fennel because I don't like the taste and I changed the pork to beef, veal and pork! Amazing! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loved these meatballs and the ingredients. They have a lot of flavor. I added pepper and onions to my mixture as well. I normally make meatballs using ground beef, but the pork was just as good if not better. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Thanks for the wonderful recipe, Alex. I imagine I'll make this many times in the future. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Full of flavor and moist!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made these with ground turkey, then I grinded my fennel seed, used panko and italian bread crumbs, and added less chili pepper flakes, and they were PERFECT!!! My goodness, they were gone before I put them on the table! Yummy!! The sour cream was a perfect touch!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'll stick to Dom Deluise's recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made the meatballs and the sauce. Both were delicious! The only thing I did differently was to only add 2 cups of water to the sauce, instead of 4. I wanted a thicker sauce, as I was serving the meatballs with gnocchi. I will definitely make these again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
next time i would not use all 4 cups of water, my marinara sauce was too watery, more like soup. my husband thought that this sauce would be good for shrimp...i might try that sometime. i thought the pork meatballs were interesting, but to me, even with all the seasonings, i didn't think they were tasty enough. in any event, i loved watching this show, and really enjoyed Alex, so much so, i went out that morning and bought all the ingrediants to try out these recipes..i will try the artichoke recipe for sure sometime. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'd rate this 4.5. I made the meatballs according to direction, veering off course just a little to add a bit of garlic and a teaspoon of Italian Seasoning. Love the all pork meatball - amazing. The sauce was spicy for us but compliments the mellow taste of the pork well. Next time I might just use half the red pepper amount and see how that goes. And, yes, this is a make again recipe for us so it must be good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is so delicious. Why isn't this REAL CHEF on our primetime? Take the amateur MELISSA off primetime and put this REAL CHEF on. We know how to cook but like someone like ALEX who can give us different recipies. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Well, either I added more red pepper flakes to the marinara sauce then the recipe called by accident, or the recipe was just way too spicy for me and my wife. (I thought I used the full 3 teaspoons of red peper flakes in the sauce, but maybe I accidentally put too much in). The meatballs were delicious and moist, and everything was very flavorful, but the sauce had just way too much heat. Our mouths were burning after a few bites. Also, I think I would have preferred a marinara sauce with more more of a tomato base. The onions, garlic, carrots, and basil were all great, but I found them to overpower the tomato component a bit much to really be called a marinara sauce. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm having difficulty pulling up Alex's recipe for the Pork Meatballs. Is it on Foodnetwork.com? Tks. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I watched Alex make these on TV and said "I'm making meatballs for dinner." Found a package of farm raised ground pork in the freezer, a bottle of wine in the liquor cabinet and went to work. The meatballs are awesome and easy to make. The heat from the pepper flakes and the parsley, fennel spice was NICE. I used some tomato paste and wine to make the sauce a little thicker and served it all with some homemade spaghetti. I highly recommend this recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I make alot of food network recipes with average results. This recipe turned out fantastic the first time! Alex didn't use fancy ingredients or techniques in this recipe. I only had to run to the store for the fennel and the pork. I'm definitely going to use this one over and over and over and over again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband and I absolutely loved them! We loved the flavor and spice! I have to admit I was a little skeptical about not using any garlic since I can't imagine meatballs without it. But these were delicious! The only thing I will change next time is I may grind the fennel seeds up a bit. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The meatballs came out pretty good, however I made some adjustments. First, instead of using ground pork, I bought the meatloaf ground meat mix which has veal, beef, and pork. Also, I added a little bit of garlic powder and worcestershire sauce to the meat, as well. I think adding the sour cream to the mixture was a great idea, and they turned out very moist! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Dear Chef Alex, Today I made your Mother's meatballs...well actually I made most of them your size but one your Mum's and one your Dad's big one. :-) They are wonderful. I made my own sauce because I have been cooking since I was seven. One a wood stove and by myself. Yes, scary isn't it?? But I learned from my Grammy and my two Great Grammy's and they were amazing cooks. Food to me is LOVE and this recipe is sure to stay in our family as a favorite. Thank you very much. item not reviewed by moderator and published
AFTER WATCHING CHEF ALEX'S SHOW THIS A.M., I JUST HAD TO MAKE BOTH HER PORK MEATBALLS AND HER MOTHER'S MARINARA SAUCE. I WAS VERY DISSAPPOINTED. WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO CHEF ALEX (LOVED PRACTICALLY EVERY RECIPE OF HERS I HAVE TRIED), THIS RECIPE WAS NOT UP TO "SNUFF". THE MEATBALLS, WHILE HAVING A NICE HEAT, WERE ON THE BLAND SIDE. THEY WERE, HOWEVER, QUITE MOIST. THE SAUCE, HAD A NICE FLAVOR, BUT THE CARROTS WERE VERY CHEWY - MAYBE I DIDN'T SAUTE THEM LONG ENOUGH. I DON'T KNOW. MY HUSBAND'S COMMENT - MY MEATBALLS (TRADITIONAL) ARE BETTER AND - THE DREADED, "OK" BUT DON'T MAKE AGAIN. PERHAPS, WE ARE JUST USED TO HAVING GARLIC IN OUR MEATBALLS??? I PLAN TO SERVE TONIGHT, THE SAUCE, WITH PASTA (ALEX DID NOT SPECIFY SERVING WITH PASTA), BUT THERE IS NO WAY THE MEATBALLS, AS THEY ARE, COULD STAND ALONE AS A MAIN DISH. I DID NOT MAKE THE ARTICHOKES, WHICH LOOKED ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. I WILL TRY ANOTHER TIME AND HOPE I CAN, AS SKILLFULLY, PEEL THE ARTICHOKES AS ALEX DID. SHE MAKES IT LOOK EASY, WHICH I KNOW, FOR ME, WOULD NOT BE. A VERY BIG FAN OF ALEX'S, DIANE. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made Mom's Sauce and then this recipe for meatballs. They were delicious. The recipe calls for ground pork...I bought (as usual) a small pork butt and had it ground. The bread crumbs...I used panko crumbs and mixed them with a little amount of milk to moisten. Otherwise...followed the recipe exactly. Wonderful! item not reviewed by moderator and published

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