Spicy Pork Meatballs

Natalya and I attended the Meatball Master Class at the De Gustibus Cooking School which was taught by Daniel Holzman of the The Meatball Shop.  These Spicy Pork Meatballs are top sellers at The Meatball Shop; how can anyone resist these amazingly juicy meatballs packed with heat?  The secret ingredients that really make these meatballs are the hot cherry peppers plus the pepper pickling liquid.  It is also important to use slices of fluffy white bread versus the commonly used dry bread crumbs as it keeps the meatballs moist and extra juicy.  When I have made Spaghetti and Meatballs before, I always wondered how to make the meatball less dry (besides just simmering in the sauce to soak in the flavors) and the bread is the key!

This class inspired us to get our own meat grinder, which makes these meatballs even better (and the process more fun).  We have also used ground beef instead of pork for this recipe, although the pork is considerably more delicious aka fatty.  Since these are so quick to cook, Daniel recommends making a “tester patty” to taste test as you can easily adjust the mixture to improve it.

Serve these spicy meatballs with a hearty Spicy Meat Sauce and you can enjoy this as an appetizer or side dish, as a main tossed with some pasta or in between slider buns.  In class, Daniel served the meatballs with sauce on top of some creamy polenta…. soooo yummy.

Spicy Pork Meatballs (recipe by Daniel Holzman of The Meatball Shop)

Yields: about 24 golf ball sized meatballs


  • 2 lb pork shoulder, ground
  • 1 + 1/3 T salt
  • 4 hot cherry peppers, minced (about 1/3 C)
  • 1/4 C pepper pickling liquid
  • 4 slices of white bread, minced (about 3 1/2 C)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 T olive oil


Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Combine all the ingredients except for the olive oil in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.

Drizzle the olive oil onto a large baking tray (9×13) making sure to evenly coat the entire surface (use your hand to spread the oil).  Roll the mixture in round, golf sized meatballs making sure to pack the meat firmly.  Place the balls onto the oiled baking dish such that all of the meatballs are lined up evenly in rows and are touching each of their four neighbors in a grid like “good little soldiers.” — Daniel Holzman

Roast until firm and cooked through (about 14 minutes).  Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tray.


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