A Top Chef's Recipe For Veal & Pork Meatballs

Bravo Top Chef's Grayson Schmitz shares a recipe.

Veal & Pork Meatballs with a Spicy Tomato Sauce

 Serves 4-6 people (About 20 Meatballs)



For the Meatballs:

½ pound ground Veal

½ pound ground Pork

¼ cup Panko bread crumbs

1/3 cup whole milk

½ cup fresh white bread, crust removed and diced

2 T. onion, minced

2 t. garlic, minced

2 T. Chopped fresh flat leaf Parsley

½ cup fresh Parmesan cheese

1 large egg, beaten

1 t. Kosher salt

½ t. freshly ground black pepper

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup EVOO


For the Tomato Sauce:


5 stems of basil, with leaves

1 cup yellow onion, chopped

1 T. garlic, minced

2 t. crushed red pepper flakes

½ T. marjoram, chopped

1 ½ t. Kosher salt

½ t. freshly ground black pepper

1, 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes


For the Garnish:

1 chunk Parmesan cheese

4 lemons, for zesting

½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley



For the Meatballs:

  • Soak the panko breadcrumbs with the milk for about 5 min.  Then in a large mixing bowl add the remaining ingredients, except for the vegetable oil and EVOO, and mix lightly with a fork.  Then roll the meat into balls, a bit smaller then a golf ball (about 1 ½ inches in diameter), you should end up with about 20 meatballs
  • Pour the vegetable oil and EVOO into a large (12-inch) skillet.  Heat the oil.  Carefully, in batches, place the meatballs in the oil and brown them well on all sides over medium-low heat.  Each batch will take about 8-10 min.  Be sure not to crowd the pan.  Remove the meatballs onto a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Discard the oil.

    For the Tomato Sauce:

  • Heat the 3 T. EVOO in a small rondou over medium-low heat.  Add the whole stems of basil including the leaves and sauté until the leaves start to blister.  Right before the basil turns brown add the onion and garlic, sweat. 
  • When the onions have turned a golden brown sprinkle in the crushed red pepper flakes and marjoram to toast for a few minutes.
  • Add the canned tomatoes salt and pepper.  Cook over low heat for about 15 min.  Then, pick out the basil stems leaving any leaves that may have fallen off. 
  • Using a stick blender, quickly blend the sauce, making sure there are still chunks of tomato. 


    Place the meatballs into the tomato sauce to reheat.  Plate the meatballs, as you would like, with a bit of sauce draped over them.  Finish by micro plaining Parmesan cheese and lemon zest over the meatballs.  Finally, sprinkle with some chopped parsley.