One of Hubby’s favorite hot sandwiches has to be a meatball sub. Truth be told, I don’t think I make meatball anything often enough to suit him, let alone a meatball sub. I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s the red sauce thing.Continue reading “Meatball Sub Skillet Supper”
I really like meatballs, don’t you? Little rounds balls of flavor that adapt so well to so many dishes. Meatballs and spaghetti. Meatballs over mashed potatoes. Meatballs swimming in a mushroom cream sauce. I can remember as a kid my parents making onion infused meatballs that were placed in a chafing dish with cream of mushroom soup and served as “Swedish” appetizers at cocktail parties. I will admit, for the longest time I thought that was a Swedish Meatball. I have since learned better.
It seems from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, the home cook is going ninety to nothing. Big meals, little meals, pot lucks, gifts from the kitchen, cocktail hour. It’s a never ending list of delicious to dos. January is a welcome time to slow down. Sip hot coco. Sit by the fire. Enjoy the moment. Still, the family has to eat, right? So give em pizza!
This dish is a simple twist on the usual Italian Meatball Sandwich. Instead of a marinara sauce or spicy pasta sauce, the sauce is a jar of Pizza Sauce. The Meatballs themselves come from the freezer (how convenient) – Johnsonville Italian Meatballs. Leave it to those sausage experts over at Johnsonville to come up with a delicious, handy frozen meatball packed with Italian goodness.
Pizza Sub Meatball Sandwiches
1 large Jar Pizza Sauce
16 Johnsonville Italian Meatballs, frozen cooked (from 16-oz bag)
4 hoagie buns, split
1 cup shredded pizza cheese blend
In 2-quart saucepan, heat cooking sauce and meatballs over medium heat about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated. Remove meatballs from sauce and set aside, leaving the warm sauce in the pot.
Split each hoagie bun. Brush top and bottom of bun with pizza sauce. Sprinkle a little pizza cheese on each half. Place 4 meatballs into each sandwich. Top with more cheese.
Place sandwiches on a foil-lined baking sheet. Pop under the broiler just long enough for cheese to melt.
Serve and enjoy!
Did you know that Spaghetti and Meatballs isn’t an Italian dish? At least not in the way we think of Spaghetti and Meatballs. You know, big, juicy meatballs swimming in a rich red sauce poured over a mountain of spaghetti noodles. In Italy, you will find spaghetti noodles, tomato based sauces and even meatballs of sorts (called polpettes). These are not the meatballs we know and love. They are often eaten plain (as the meatballs alone) or in a soup. The meat is anything from beef to turkey to even fish. Often these meatballs are no bigger than a golf ball. In some regions, there are meatballs no bigger than a marble called polpettines. While polpettes are commonly found at the family table in Italy, they are rarely found in restaurants and never served with spaghetti. If you happen to be in Italy and find “Spaghetti and Meatballs” on the menu, then you have stumbled into a tourist spot that caters to American expectation.
A few months ago I made my guys Swedish Meatballs. This was another in a long line of recipes that was on my meal planner, then off again. It’s not that the recipe was difficult or complicated, just time-consuming in the prep work department. It seemed that as the day of cooking grew near, I became involved in other projects or (more often than not) grew lazy. Finally, the day of reckoning was upon me. No more excuses, no more procrastinating. It was time to get cooking!
These aren’t just meatballs cooked in Cream of Mushroom Soup and called “Swedish” – these are made with a blend of ground beef and pork, seasoned well, baked in the oven and then finished off in a wonderful, somewhat sweet Red Currant sauce. Meatballs that are to-die-for delicious. Hubby said they were the most flavorful meatballs he has ever tasted. While a bit labor intense, these meatballs are well worth the extra effort.
Swedish Meatballs with Red Currant Sauce
5 slices of sour dough bread, crusts removed, bread cut into pieces
2/3 cup milk
1 large yellow or white onion, peeled, grated (through a cheese grater)
2 Tbsp butter
1 pound ground pork
1 pounds ground beef
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons black pepper
Red Currant Sauce:
6 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
4 cups beef stock
3/4 cup sour cream
Salt to taste
3 Tbsp red currant jelly, more or less to taste
Handful Flat Leaf Parsley, finely chopped for garnish if desired
Trim crust from bread, cut into pieces. Let bread dry out for about 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix the bread pieces with the milk. Set aside for 15-20 minutes, or until the bread soaks up all the milk. When it does, pulverize the bread in a food processor and pour it into a large bowl.
While bread is soaking, grate onions using large holes of a cheese grater.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a non-stick Sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and begins to foam slightly, add onions.
Sauté the grated onion in the butter over medium-high heat until the onions soften and turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Add the cooled onions to the bowl of milk and bread. Add the rest of the meatball ingredients—eggs, ground pork, ground beef, salt, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper. Using your (clean) hands, mix well for about 2 minutes until the ingredients are well combined.
Use a 1 tablespoon scooper to measure out the meat for the meatballs. As you form the meatballs, set each one aside on a sheet pan or plate. You should get 60-65 meatballs.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake meatballs for 15 minutes. Do not fully cook meatballs all the way through since they will continue to cook in the sauce.
While the meatballs are baking, make the Red Currant Sauce. Heat 6 tablespoons of butter for the sauce in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the flour. Stirring often, let the flour cook until it is the color of coffee-with-cream; this is a classic roux. It will take about 5-8 minutes to reach the desired color.
As the roux is cooking, heat the beef stock in another pot until it simmers. When the roux has cooked until the color of coffee-with-cream, slowly add the hot beef stock a little at a time. Everything will sputter at first, and the sauce will seize up and solidify. Keep stirring and adding stock slowly, and it will loosen up and become silky.
Remove meatballs from the oven. Drain pan drippings into the sauce and stir to blend well.
Add the meatballs to the sauce, and turn the heat down to low. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
To finish, move the meatballs to a large serving bowl or casserole and keep warm. Add the sour cream and whisk well until smooth. Add the jelly to the sauce. Bring sauce up to medium heat to let the jelly melt into the sauce.
Pour sauce over meatballs, garnish with parsley if desired.
These meatballs go well served over buttery egg noodles.
One night for dinner, I decided to see what else I could whip up using frozen prepackaged meatballs. My Teriyaki Meatballs had been such a huge hit, I was anxious to see what else these frozen shortcut gems could become. So off to the kitchen I went.
One day a coworker came to me on a Tuesday and said “Rosie, we’re having a potluck on Thursday. Bring whatever you like.” Total panic. OMG – one day to plan a dish, one day to make the dish – what to do? What to bring?