This Pork Loin Meatballs in Tomato Sauce recipe is part of my collaboration as brand ambassador of the National Pork Board’s “Pork Es Sabor” to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Thank you for reading and supporting the brands that make Savoir Faire possible.
These pork loin meatballs are one of those recipes that you carry in your heart. They go from generation to generation without even having to been written. The meatballs my mom used to make inspired my pork loin meatballs.
My mom did not like to cook, but she is a great cook and continues to create and recreate delicious recipes. From her, I inherited that curiosity that leads me to experiment with ingredients from other latitudes and also the taste for gourmet food.
But today’s recipe is plain comfort food, the one that you treasure because it brings back memories of your childhood. When I was 13, my mom taught me how to make white rice, fried ripe plantain slices, tuna salad and meatballs in tomato sauce.
I remember as if it were yesterday when she told me that when combining the ingredients for the meatballs, you had to manipulate the pork as little as possible so that the meatballs would come out soft. She also shared one of her culinary tricks: to add two bay leaves to the tomato sauce because “bay brings out the best flavor of pork.” She was right.
I’m sure that when she taught me the essentials of cooking, my mom didn’t want me to be just a housewife. On the contrary, my mother raised my sister and me to be independent professional women. And she had to do it very well because we both ended up graduating or working in Ivy League universities.
I think that teaching me how to make those four dishes was part of my “integral” training, gastronomically speaking, I think she also achieved her goal, so thank you, mom!
How to make Pork Loin Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
That said, now I’m going to share my recipe. My mom’s meatballs were breaded and then fried to finish cooking in a tomato sauce. Unlike my mom’s recipe, I don’t bread or fry my meatballs, I bake them, instead. I also make my meatballs exclusively with pork loin, which I ask the butcher to grind for me. The reason? Actually, there are several: first, pork loin is one of the leanest and healthiest pork cuts; second, everything with pork tastes better and, last but not least, pork is a super affordable protein, so what else can you ask for?
Now, I have to clarify: these are not Italian, American or Mexican meatballs. These are pork loin meatballs like those we used to eat in Caracas, where I was born and raised. They have the Caracas seasoning, including Worcestershire sauce, the famous “salsa inglesa” my grandma Ligia was so fond of. When I eat them, I feel like I’m eating my mom’s food.
I barely add a splash of olive oil to sauté the sofrito for the sauce. When you make my pork loin meatballs, you’ll see that there is absolutely no fat left on the plate. That’s the wonder of cooking with pork: you don’t have to add fat to make it taste delicious.
And now I share with you my pork loin meatballs in tomato sauce recipe, but not before inviting you to watch the next video, where I show you how I cook them step by step and a request that if you have not done it yet, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.
I also invite you to visit www.PorkEsSabor.com for more delicious pork-based recipes to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Pork Loin Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
- 2 pounds of pork loin ground
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- ¼ cup skim milk
- ¾ cup onion grated
- 3 tablespoons parsley chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
- 3 teaspoons of salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1½ tablespoons of olive oil
- 6 cups tomato liquefied
- ½ cup red bell pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl put the pork loin and add the egg, milk, ½ cup of onion, parsley, 2 cloves of garlic, Worcestershire sauce and bread crumbs and mix with a fork.
- Season with salt and pepper, and integrate with the fork.
- With your hands, form 1 ½-inch diameter meatballs and put them on the tray.
- Bake for 15 minutes, turn the pork loin meatballs and bake for 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven.
- In a deep saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, the rest of the onion and garlic, and the red bell pepper, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until wilted.
- Add the tomato, the rest of the salt and the bay leaves.
- Add the pork loin meatballs to the sauce and bring to a boil.
- Once the sauce boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook covered for 20 minutes.
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