From the category archives:


The reason for meatballs in red sauce is not to top spaghetti. The real reason is the meatball sub. Growing up, I didn’t have many of these and I am not sure why. It was more likely that we would have meatloaf sandwiches. Mom made great meatballs but I guess my brother made sure that there was none left.

So this is a recipe as a work in progress. Over time, my mom’s recipe became closer to my Italian sausage recipe. And I adopted my sister-in-laws idea of finishing them in the sauce at a low temp for a few hours. I suppose that it will change further as my tastes change. But it has been stable for two years. That means I only messed with it for 30 years.

This will make a lot, but it will make two meals. Sunday spaghetti night and subs on Monday.

And as always, I am cooking for 4, but one is a fourteen-year-old athlete so he eats like two. It’s his favorite sub. I couldn’t let him think that Subway was good.


1 LB Ground beef – 85/15 fat content
1 LB Ground pork
2 Eggs
½ Cup Milk
½ Cup breadcrumbs
¾ Cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Teaspoon red chili flakes
1 Teaspoon smoked paprika
1 Teaspoon oregano
1 Teaspoon thyme
1 Teaspoon black pepper
1 Teaspoon salt
½ Cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Batches of marinara plus 1 cup of red wine


In a large mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, milk and spices and salt and mix. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
Whisk in the eggs.

Whisk in the cheese and parsley.
Add the pork and beef.

Mix this by hand until combined. Both hands. In the bowl.

Cover a baking pan with either nonstick tinfoil or parchment paper.
(Or be prepared to scrub a pan).
Preheat oven to 350.

Roll the mixture into roughly 2-inch balls.
Place about ½ inch apart on the pan.
Start the tomato sauce.

Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes.

Place the baked meatballs in the sauce and lower the heat on the sauce to just below a simmer.
Cook for at least two hours – less would be OK but the more time the more tender the meatballs. I usually make this over lunch and let them cook until dinner.

At this point you could just eat them out of the pot. But the way we do it is like I said, Sunday dinner follow by meatball subs.



Okay, it’s the third day after Saint Patrick’s day and what are you going to do with the leftovers from the boiled dinner? Especially the vegetables. How about a grilled rueben with a hot and crispy potato salad?

The star here is the potato salad. And this is good stuff. Kid approved stuff. Potato crack.

I usually have more vegetables left over than corned beef. So a dish that makes them shin is always useful. Basically it’s a hash with Balsamic vinegar added once the vegetables are crisp. Remember, always add the oil or fat to a HOT pan. This will help keep everything from sticking to the pan.

Also it worth making the Russian dressing from scratch. The recipe below is just enough for 4 sandwiches. I never thought much of Russian dressing on salads so a whole bottle would be too much. You probably have all the ingredients in the fridge and pantry. So why not?

First we will make the dressing. Then get the potatoes started and finish with the Ruebens.

Russian Dressing Ingredients:

1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 Teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon finely minced onion
1 tablespoon finely minced dill pickle (or any pickle really)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Salt to taste


Mix all ingredients together and let it combine for at least 30 minutes.

Warm Potato Salad:

This is leftovers so the amounts can vary. But basically the amounts are as follows. Also, when you chop up the potatoes and carrots we are not looking for a uniform size. I actually broke up the vegetables with my hands.

About 2 cups boiled potatoes.
1/2 Cup or more  boiled carrots
1/2 Cup boiled onion (if you have them)
1 Slice bacon
olive oil
2 Tablespoons chopped green onions
2 Tablespoons  chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt to taste


Add a good slug of olive oil to a hot fry pan. The temperature should be medium high.
Dice up the bacon and add to the pan.
Fry until the bacon is almost crisp.
Add the potatoes, carrots and onions.
Let the vegetables  fry for 3 -4 minutes. When they easily release from the bottom of the pan flip them over.
Repeat 2 or 3 times until everything is crisp and browned.
Add the green onion and parsley and mix into the pan.
Drizzle in  the vinegar to deglaze the pan and toss the mixture well.


Grilled Rueben:

Basically you want about 4 ounces of corned beef for each sandwich. Traditionally, you would use sauerkraut. But that’s not what we have. So take your cabbage and slice it up. Squeeze out the water and add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and some salt. Mix well and we have a decent cheat for kraut.. You will need about 1 cup of the prepared cabbage.

8 Slices pumpernickel/rye swirled bread
16 ounces sliced corned beef
1 cup/8 ounces prepared cabbage or sauerkraut
1/2 cup prepared Russian dressing (see above)
8 slices Swiss cheese


Spread out the slices of bread on the counter or cutting board.
Lightly butter each of them and flip over.
(yes it’s messy, but we are making food here).
Spread each slice with the Russian dressing.
Working on 4 slices, add a layer of one slice swiss cheese, 4 ounces or corned beef, 2 ounces or cabbage, and another slice of swiss cheese.
Cover with the slices of bread, dressing side to the inside of the sandwich.

The next step is to pan grill the sandwiches. It’s probably best to us two pans or a griddle f you have it.
(probably a good idea to check on those potatoes).

Place the sandwich on the pan on medium. let cook for about 3 minutes. Press the sandwich with a press or a spatula to compress.
Cook until the bottom is lightly browned and flip.

Press down the sandwich again and cook until the bottom in browned.

Serve it all up. A Guinness stout might be a good idea as a side dish.