After making this dish, I wanted to make it again! and again and again! It’s simple but the flavours are bang on! Big Cove Foods ‘Porcini BBQ Genie’ is rapidly calling dibs to be experimented on in our kitchen. And rightfully so. This pot of tomato goodness and tender meat balls was wonderful on rice or with bread. But I wouldn’t say no to this on a bed of noodles either.
Find local meat if you can! Our local producers need our support right.
- 35 saltine crackers
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 oz pecorino cheese, grated
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 4 tbsp Big Cove Food’s ‘Porcini BBQ Genie’ spice blend – divided
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced small
- 8 garlic cloves, sliced thin
- 2 – 398 ml canned whole tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cups beef broth
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 475 F and place the rack in the middle position. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking oil or butter.
In a large bowl, add the saltine crackers and crush as fine as you can. (You can use your hands or a mallet or a measuring cup, whatever gets the job done). Whisk in the milk and eggs. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes to soften up the crackers. Then add 2 tbsp of the ’Porcini BBQ Genie’ spice blend and pecorino cheese to the cracker mixture and whisk some more until it turns into a paste consistency. Thoroughly blend in the pork and beef evenly.
Using a 1/3 measuring cup, scoop out the meatballs one at a time forming balls and place them on the prepared baking pan. You should get about 18.
Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 30 minutes, remove from the fridge and reshape to form the balls again. Cook in the preheated oven until browned, about 20-25 minutes and when the internal temperature is at least 165.
In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until just beginning to brown. Add the garlic slices and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and all their juices, breaking up the tomatoes with your wooden spoon just until they’re broken down a bit. Add the beef broth, 2 tbsp ’Porcini BBQ Genie’ spice blend, worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until it reduces by about 1/3 and resembles a thick broth, about 10 min.
Turn heat off and wait for it to come to a bare simmer. Add the butter and stir until melted. Nestle the meatballs back into the sauce and gently roll them around to coat them.
Sprinkle all over with the chopped parsley. We served this over rice, but would also be amazing on some noodles or just with some crusty bread.