This is a very important part of amazing meatballs!
How To Use The Salt Pork with the Pasta Sauce Recipe: So what you do with the salt pork is, you first buy a chunk of it, about 5″x5″x1-1/2″, be sure to trim off the hard skin that will be on one side of the chunk, (if you don’t you will have ROCKS instead of nice crunchy bacon bits). Then you chop up the salt pork into the smallest pieces you can. Then fry ’em up in a pan and get them brown and crispy, drain them on paper towel, be sure to snack on some while your cooking.. “delicious!!!”. After the little bits dry, take a large knife and chop up the bits even smaller, kinda like bacon bits, that’s the stuff you will add to the braciole filling. When you brown your meatballs and braciole meat be sure to brown them in the salt pork fat. Oh momma mia, getting hungry just thinking about it 🙂
Interesting note about the salt pork: Deep dark secrets of a time long ago and far away revealed! WooHooo!!! My Mom told me that when grandma Salerno would fry up the salt pork, Luigi (my grandfather) would always sneak a nibble here and there and he would get yelled at, those are for the braciole!!!! I can see why, it’s a bit of hard work chopping up the salt pork into little bits. 😉 I told my mom that I just could not believe she never shared this very important information with me. Ugh! Italians! You just need to get them talking about food and memories of old and all kinds of great secrets come out 🙂 This also reminds me of another thing my grandma used to always do. She would “always” have fresh grated Parmesan cheese. She never bought the already grated stuff. She would pick out a nice block of Parmesan cheese and would sit at the table and grate and grate and grate, I “think” she watch her favorite TV show while she was grating. It’s very hard work. You have to use the smallest holes on the grater. Try it sometimes, you WILL get tired and wonder how grandma did it! (But no cheating and using the large holes to grate, must be the “smallest” holes!” She would have the fresh Parmesan in one of those glass jars that had the plastic ring on it with the metal level that locks it closed. I keep forgetting to do this when I have company over, but I will be grating the cheese fresh next big get together.
Special note: Another very important tip to making awesome meatballs is using a cast iron pan. This allows you to to get the pan very hot using high heat. Non-stick pan will get ruined if you use high heat for a long time. Once you learn how to properly season the cast iron pans they are amazing! It’s the only pan I will use now for my meatballs, braciole, pork chops and sausage.
I have placed a photo gallery below to help show all the important steps to browning the meatballs in the salt pork grease. I cannot stress how important this step is!
Frying The Meatballs In The Salt Pork Grease Photo Gallery
OK, hat was awesome!
Now take me to the full recipe