These hearty Meatball Subs are an ideal fall and winter months lunch time fix! I added some soaked country bread in the meat mixture, together with lots of pepper, minced garlic, parsley, cumin, paprika, and sea salt. The beef meatballs were so tender, moist, and full of flavors. Then, I spread some garlic butter on the baguette, and toasted them until slightly crisp. Fill the toasted baguette with the meatballs and some of the tasty sauce. That's it. If you like, you may also top it with some Provolone cheese and bake it under the grill till the cheese melts. It's simply decadent!
¼ Piece (200 g) Crustless Country Bread, torn into chunks
1 Cup Water
1 Kg Ground (Minced) Beef
3 Cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
½ tsp Ground Cumin
1 ½ tsp Ground Paprika
¾ tsp Sea Salt
About 4 Tbsp Olive Oil, for frying
4-5 Cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
1 Large Red Onion, peeled and diced
2 tsp Sugar
1 ½ Kg (about 12) Roma Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced (You may opt for tin tomatoes)
½ tsp Paprika
1 tsp Chili Flakes
4 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 ¼ Cups Beef Broth
A Bunch of Fresh Basil Leaves, torn
¼ Cup Red Wine
Sea Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 (6 to 8 inches size) Baguette
Meatballs (You’ll need about ½ portion from the recipe)
For the meatballs, soak the bread in the water in a medium bowl, squishing it through your fingers so that it breaks up completely. Put the ground beef in a large bowl with soften bread, garlic, parsley, cumin, paprika, sea salt, and generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Mix everything together thoroughly, kneading it with your hands as though it were bread dough. Form about 48 meatballs the size of a large cherry, rolling them between your palms, so they are compact. Keep the made ones on a plate while you finish rolling the rest.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs in batches, making sure they are golden before you turn them. You should be able to shuffle them by holding the handle of the pan and giving a good flick with your wrist. If not, use tongs to turn them. Remove the meatballs and set aside.
Using the same pan, use about 1 1/2 Tbsp of the oil, and discard the excess oil. (If the pan is large enough to hold all the meatballs) Then add the garlic, onion, sugar, and sauté until fragrant and translucent. When you can smell the garlic mixture, add the tomatoes. Season with paprika, chili flakes, and give it a good stir. Mix in the tomato paste, beef broth, and red wine. Bring the tomato mixture to a boil, and let simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes. Season with salt, add the basil and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon as you stir from time to time.
Add the meatballs into the tomato sauce, stir, and simmer uncovered for another 15-20 minutes, until the meatballs are soft and there is a fair amount of thickened sauce. Then stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.
For the Meatball Subs
Cut the baguette in half lengthwise, and remove some of the bread from the inside to make a well for the meatballs. Spread with garlic butter, toast into the oven until lightly crisp. Spoon the meatballs and some of the tomato sauce into the baguette. Cool slightly, cut into servings, and enjoy :-)