Pork Meatballs

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

20 to 25 meatballs, approximately

  • 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

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

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