|Meaty, garlicky, beef and pork meatballs served on po'boy or sandwich rolls, dressed with a Creole sauce made from The Trinity and tomatoes, and topped with shredded Mozzarella cheese.|
Creole Meatball Po'boySeriously, who doesn't love a good meatball? I have a stand-by, no-frills, meatball recipe that I've been using since the beginning of time, but when I had the chance to review Emeril's newest cookbook, Sizzling Skillets, awhile back, I saw this gargantuan beef and pork meatball he had in there for a recipe called Big Boy Meatballs and Spaghetti. You can see those pictured in my sneak peek review post with the Chicken Sauce Piquante I featured back in October. The meatballs looked and sounded so good, I knew that I had to give them a spin, well, with my own spin on them of course!
The original recipe was very heavy on garlic, like 12 cloves heavy, or what would amount to 1/4 cup of minced garlic. While I do love me some garlic, I just had a feeling that would be way more garlic than even this girl could handle, so I cut that way back. As the meatballs were baking, a very distinct smell of garlic filled the house, and so, I was sure glad I did! One tablespoon provided more than enough garlic flavor, and, in fact if you are not a big garlic fan, feel free to reduce that even further. On the other hand, if you're adventurous, hey, go all full out with garlic gusto I say!
Although I chose to oven bake the meatballs, you can certainly pan fry them - you'll need between 2 and 3 tablespoons of olive oil or a vegetable oil. I also rolled mine to get an even twelve meatballs, four for each po'boy, but you can roll them larger or smaller, depending on what you intend to use them for. In fact, these will make amazing, little slider bites for the Super Bowl game this weekend. Men will love them for their meatiness, women will love them because they are small and a little neater to eat than say, a whole meatball sandwich, which I will tell you I certainly did eat. For party po'boys, just put the meatballs on individual pistolette rolls or use small dinner rolls, dress them in the same manner and I think you'll have a winner on your hands!
I put 1/2 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese on each sandwich, but the truth is, I think I would have liked even more. Once you melt the cheese and add the meatballs, I say add more cheese on top, add more sauce and run them back in the oven to melt the cheese. That would have covered up the meatballs here for pictures, but it sure would be good for the taste-buds. Even still, without the extra cheese, this was as delicious as they come y'all. I mean, just look at this would ya?
I had some Creole sauce I had put up in the freezer, so no step by step photos on that this time, but I downsized it here for you in the recipe if you want to make it. It's a super easy skillet sauce, involving the trinity, tomato paste and diced tomatoes, that you can whip up while the meatballs are resting in the fridge. You can also use a good commercial marinara if you prefer, make up a quickie homemade version, or substitute my spicy Rotel sauce.
For the meatballs, start by trimming the crusts off of four slices of bread. I used white wheat (because that's the closest I can get The Cajun to eating wheat bread), but use whatever you have on hand. Stick those crusts in the freezer to use for bread crumbs some other time. Waste not, want not!
Tear bread into small pieces and place it into a small bowl.
Cover with 3/4 cup buttermilk, toss with a fork and set aside for 10 minutes.
After it sits, mash it into a paste.
But, in the meantime, chop some parsley. I used fresh because I had some but you can certainly substitute dried. Chop up 2 large cloves of garlic.
Remove sausage from casings and place it along with the ground beef into a large bowl.
Add the Parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, Cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper.
Add the mashed bread and buttermilk mix.
Gently combine and get ready to roll some meatballs. I used a large scoop just to make it easier to get fairly even meatballs out of the mix.
Shape into twelve large meatballs, about 2 inches in size, and place on an aluminum foil covered baking pan. Place into refrigerator for 15 minutes to allow to rest and firm up.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through, turning several times. Can also pan fry in hot oil, if you prefer.
To assemble sandwiches, split 4 po'boy or other sandwich rolls in half, and spread the sauce on both sides of each roll.
Add cheese to both sides of each sandwich, about 1/2 cup to each roll, or more if you like.
Place the tray into the oven for about 5 minutes, or just until cheese is melted.
Warm meatballs if needed and allow three meatballs for each sandwich, splitting them in half and placing cut side down on the bottom of the roll.
Here's where even more cheese, while not great for a camera shot, would sure be good on top of the meatballs, if you're adventurous and not too cheese phobic right now. Top the meatballs with more sauce, then add more cheese, and pop into the oven again, just to melt.
Otherwise, just slice in half and serve the po'boys immediately while hot.
Recipe: Creole Meatball Po'boy©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 20 min |Cook time: 40 min | Yield: 4 Po'boys
Meatballs and Po'boy:
- 4 slices of white bread, crusts removed
- 3/4 cup of buttermilk
- 1 pound of ground chuck
- 3/4 pound of Italian or other seasoned, raw sausage
- 1 ounce of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic cloves (about 2 large), or to taste
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Homemade creole sauce (below) or a commercial marinara sauce, warmed
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 po'boy or other sandwich rolls
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup each of chopped onion, bell pepper and celery
- 1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
- 1 (15 ounce) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
- Creole (or Cajun) seasoning, to taste
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil
Tear bread into small pieces and place into a small bowl. Cover with buttermilk, toss with a fork and set aside for 10 minutes. Mash into a paste. Remove sausage from casings and place into a large bowl with the ground beef, Parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, Cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper. Add the mashed bread and milk mixture and gently combine. Shape into twelve large meatballs, about 2 inches in size, and place on an aluminum foil covered baking pan. Place into refrigerator for 15 minutes to allow to rest and firm up, while you make the sauce.
For the sauce, heat the olive oil and add the onion, bell pepper and celery; cook and stir about 4 minutes or until softened. Stir in the tomato paste, cooking it for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce heat, add the sugar and seasoning; simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep warm.
Remove meatballs from the fridge and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake meatballs for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through, turning several times. Can also pan fry in hot oil, if you prefer.
To assemble sandwiches: Split 4 po'boy rolls, or other oblong sandwich rolls in half and spread sauce on both sides of each roll. Add cheese to both sides of each sandwich, about 1/2 cup to each roll. Place into oven for about 5 minutes, or just until cheese is melted. Warm meatballs if needed and allow three meatballs for each sandwich, splitting them in half and placing cut side down on the bottom of the roll. Top with additional sauce and cheese if desired and serve sandwiches immediately.
I used bratwurst sausage because that is what I had in the freezer. Make the meatballs ahead, and when ready to assemble the sandwiches, just warm them up. I prepared the sauce here as a condiment, however, if you would like more sauce, add an extra can of diced tomatoes. You can also pass the meatballs through the extra sauce, just to lightly coat them, before building the sandwiches.
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