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Broken Meatball Sub Sandwiches

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  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef (you could buy leaner beef if you wish but I wouldn’t go any leaner than 85/15. 80/20 tastes best).
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup ground or grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder
  • 34 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Ground sea salt or table salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1 24 ounce jar marina sauce (I recommend Victoria Marinara Sauce)
  • 4 sub or hoagie rolls


  1. Put ground beef and eggs in a large bowl to start bringing them to room temperature. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions to skillet and 1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt and 10 turns of ground pepper and stir. Sauté onions slowly (about 10-15 minutes or until translucent and just turning light brown). Pull onions out of the oil with a slotted spoon (leaving oil behind) and set aside.
  3. To the large bowl of ground beef and egg you set aside earlier, add cheese, worcestershire, basil, parsley, oregano, granulated onion, bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon garlic, 20 turns ground pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Combine everything together with your hands just until mixed. You don’t want to overwork it.
  4. After mixing, generously sprinkle salt over the meat without mixing it in. Flip meat over and sprinkle salt on other side.
  5. Preheat the same skillet you used for the onions that still has the oil in it over medium heat. Add another tablespoon of oil and 1 pat of butter to pan. Once the pan is heated, add meat to skillet and use a spatula to break apart the meat into somewhat smaller pieces. (see photos below). Allow meat to sear until nicely browned and then start to flip the pieces over. (At this point, I might add a little more salt over the meat to the broken open areas.) Don’t over-stir your meat. You want to give it time to sear on the edges before turning the pieces over. Once the meat is mostly cooked, I sometimes break the meat down a little more into smaller pieces if some are too big (see picture below) and then let the freshly cut pieces sear a little more.
  6. Once the meat is completely seared on all sides and cooked through, lower the heat to medium-low and stir in the sautéed onions.
  7. Push the browned meat to the sides of the pan to create a little open area in the center of the pan and add the rest of the minced garlic to the center. Let garlic sauté for 1 minute, then add your jar of pasta sauce. Turn heat to low and stir everything together. Let everything simmer together on low for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Remove skillet from heat and serve with hoagie rolls and sprinkled cheese.


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