Pork Week: Ground Pork Meatballs & Red Sauce

Charlie Torgerson of RC’s BBQ at the Minnesota State Fair, shows us how pork is used in it’s ground form for Pork Week! For more from the Minnesota Pork Board, click here.

Ground Pork Meatballs
Yield: 17-18 3oz Meatballs

2 ½ lbs Ground Pork, thawed
5 oz Parmesan, grated
2 ½ oz Asiago Romano, grated
¼ cup Italian Breadcrumbs
1 TBSP Italian Seasoning
1 TBSP Onion Powder
1 TBSP Garlic Powder
1 ½ TBSP Black Pepper
1 ½ TBSP Lawry’s Salt
2 TBSP Italian Flat Parsley, finely chopped
2 Eggs


  1. Place Parmesan, Romano, breadcrumbs, seasonings, and parsley into a steel mixing bowl. Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated. Set aside.
  2. Crack eggs in a separate bowl and whip.
  3. Add egg to dry ingredients. Mix until incorporated.
  4. Add ground pork and blend until dry and wet ingredients are disbursed evenly.
  5. Form meat mixture into 3-ounce balls. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan.

Success Keys:

  • Keep ground meat cold throughout the process.
  • Do not over-mix after adding ground pork.


Red Sauce

2 TBSP Olive Oil
½ Onion, white, small dice
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 #10 Cans Tomato Sauce
3 lbs San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes
2.5 oz Tomato Paste
1 Bay Leaf
2 TBSP Italian Seasoning
1 TBSP Basil Leaves, dried, crushed
1 TBSP Black Pepper
1 TBSP Parsley, fresh, chopped fine
1 lb Riblets thawed, cut into 1-2” pieces


  1. Place stockpot on medium heat. Add olive oil. Add onions and garlic. Saute for 5-7 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  2. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste. With gloved hands, hand crush whole tomatoes into the stockpot.
  3. Bring to a low simmer. When the sauce starts to simmer, Crush seasonings with your gloved hands over the top of the sauce. Stir once to combine.
  4. Add riblets to the sauce.
  5. Carefully add meatballs to the sauce. Let them sink into the sauce naturally. Simmer sauce and meatballs for 3 hours.