Cheese-Stuffed Meatball Poboy

Prep Time: 2 Hours

Yields: 4–6 Po'boys


Whether you are a Patriot or Seahawks fan, nothing is worse than a plate of spaghetti with tough, dry, "deflated" meatballs. Nothing says "Super Bowl Sunday" like cheese-stuffed meatballs to make spirits soar.

Ingredients for Cheese-stuffed Meatballs:

1 pound ground chuck

1 pound ground pork

1 pound shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided

6 eggs

1 cup minced onions

1 cup minced celery

¼ cup minced garlic

¼ cup chopped basil

1¾ cups Italian bread crumbs

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsps salt

2 tbsps black pepper

Method for Cheese-stuffed Meatballs:

In a large mixing bowl, combine beef and pork. Using your hands, blend meat well. Add eggs, onions, celery, minced garlic, basil, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Continue to blend then season with salt and pepper. Fry a small patty of meat mixture in a sprinkle of extra-virgin olive oil to test seasoning. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Roll meat into 20 balls. Set aside. Roll the Monterey Jack cheese into 20 equally sized balls. Using finger, create a hole in the center of each meatball, insert the cheese ball then seal gap tightly with meat. Repeat until all meatballs are stuffed. Place on a cookie sheet, cover and refrigerate.

Ingredients for Sauce and Po'boy:

4 (35-ounce) cans Italian plum tomatoes with juice

4–6 (8-inch) Po'boy loaves

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups diced onions

1 cup diced celery

¼ cup minced garlic

¼ cup chopped basil

salt and black pepper to taste

½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

Method for Sauce and Po'boy:

Drain tomatoes through a sieve and retain juice. Chop tomatoes into ¼-inch pieces, return to juice and set aside. In a 3-gallon saucepot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery and minced garlic. Sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted, stirring often. Add tomatoes with juice and chopped basil. Bring to a low boil, reduce to simmer and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gently drop raw stuffed meatballs into sauce. Return sauce to a simmer. Do not stir for first 10 minutes of simmering or meatballs will break. When stirring, use a wooden spoon and move the meatballs gently. Simmer 1 hour, adding water or chicken stock if sauce becomes too thick. Season with salt and pepper. While meatballs are cooking, preheat oven to 375°F. Slice po'boy bread lengthwise, place on a large cookie sheet then set aside. When ready to prepare po'boys, place bread in oven and turn off heat to allow bread to become crispy and warm. Remove po'boy bread from oven. To assemble, place 4–5 meatballs and a generous serving of sauce on one side of po'boy bread. Sprinkle with an equal portion of cheese and top with other po'boy half. Serve hot.