Gjelina-inspired Meatballs Braised in Pomodoro Sauce

The Gjelina recipe uses pork shoulder and encourages you to grind your own meat. We offer an easier option: buy our high-quality ground pork or beef. Follow the rest of the recipe for fantastic flavor and tenderness. You can serve this over pasta, but we love the simplicity of serving with grilled bread and a wedge of parmesan. 


  • 2 lbs Ground Beef or Ground Pork
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 oz day-old bread, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 quart-sized jar of basic tomato sauce

How To

  1. Mix together the Ground Beef or Ground Pork, carrot, onion, garlic, parsley, paprika, nutmeg, and cubed bread. Once thoroughly mixed, mix in an egg, heavy cream and pecorino romano. Cover with plastic wrap and place the mixture in the fridge to chill for at least two hours. 
  2. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with wax paper. Shape the mixture into the size of golf balls and place them on the wax paper. A cookie scoop works great here.
  3. If you would like to freeze your meatballs, now is the time to do it: Place the sheet pan lined with wax paper and meatballs in the freezer. Once frozen, you can transfer the meatballs to a Mason Jar or Ziplock bag. Label and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
  4. In a large dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil until hot. Do not overcrowd the pan and turn the meatballs every 2-3 minutes to brown evenly. Cook the meatballs in batches until thoroughly browned. Transfer to a platter and continue browning the rest of the meatballs. 
  5. Once the meatballs have all been cooked, pour the tomato sauce into the oiled dutch oven. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it cook down for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the meatballs back to the dutch oven, place the cover on and let the meatballs braise in the red sauce over medium heat for 20 minutes. 
  7. Serve with a heavy dusting of Parmesan cheese and toasted bread. 

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