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The Meatball Shop's Spicy Pork Meatballs

Serves about 2 dozen 1 1/2-inch meatballs

Originally aired

INGREDIENTS
  • For the Meatballs:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lbs pork shoulder, ground
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 jarred hot cherry peppers, minced
  • 1/4 cup hot cherry pepper pickling liquid
  • 4 slices fresh white bread, minced
  • 3 large eggs
  • For the Spicy Meat Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 lb ground pork, preferably shoulder
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
PREPARATION

For the Meatballs:

Preheat the oven to 450F. Drizzle the olive oil into a 913-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.

Combine the ground pork, salt, cherry peppers, pickling liquid, bread, and eggs in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.

Roll the mixture into round, golf ball-size meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches), making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.

Roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165F.

Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving.

For the Spicy Meat Sauce:

Two 26-ounce boxes Pomi chopped tomatoes or two 28-ounce cans whole plum tomatoes, roughly chopped with their liquid

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, ground pork, red pepper flakes, and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is thoroughly cooked and the onions are soft and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir constantly until the sauce begins to boil. Continue cooking for 35 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent the sauce on the bottom of the pot from burning. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired.

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