Meatballs, Gravy and Hot Pockets

 

Slow Cooker Gravy (AKA Sunday Gravy, Sauce, Ragu, etc.)

  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 roasted, peeled, and seeded cubanelle or red pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (double for extra heat, if desired)
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 3 cans tomato purée
  • 3 cans tomato paste
  • 4 leaves basil, chopped
  • 1 twig’s oregano leaves, pulled
In an 8 quart slow cooker set to low, drop olive oil, onion, roasted pepper, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper in bottom and stir.  Cover and let that cook for 2-3 hours.   Add wine and stir, simmer covered for 1 more hour.   Add tomato purée, paste and herbs and increase heat to high.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add meatballs, cover and simmer for 2 – 3 hours more.

 

Homemade bread crumbs

note: you may use store bought, if desired for the meatballs

  • 8 slices of day-old Italian bread,  crusts removed and soaked in water
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Soak bread in water and squeeze to remove excess, place in small bowl and add remaining ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.

Meatballs

  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 1 pound ground beef, room temperature
  • 1 pound ground pork, room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 cup homemade Italian breadcrumbs (above) or store bought Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup gravy (above)
  • 2 tbsp. Italian parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Place large frying  pan over medium-high heat, add about a half inch of olive oil to preheat.  In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients until well incorporated. Take a small patty of meat and place on microwaveable plate and heat for 30 seconds.  Add salt and pepper to meat mixture according to taste.  Mix thoroughly again and then form into palm-sized balls.  Drop into preheated frying pan and turn to brown on all sides.

Place into slow cooker, in with gravy and simmer for at least one hour before serving.  Bring leftover meatballs to room temperature before storing in refrigerator overnight.

Dough (you may use store bought or pizzeria pizza dough for meatball pockets):

  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups water, cold
Whisk together flour, salt, yeast.  Add water and mix thoroughly for five minutes until sticky, smooth and elastic.  On floured surface, knead for fifteen minutes, then divide into 6 pieces, form into balls and coat in olive oil.  Store balls 1-3 nights in well oiled containers in refrigerator or in freezer for up to three months.
Day Two:  Meatball Pockets
Serves 4
  • Butter and olive oil, for pan and for brushing
  • Dough (above)
  • Meatballs simmered in gravy (above)

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahreneheit and butter a baking sheet then drizzle olive oil over butter where meatball pockets will go.  Remove two dough balls from refrigerator or freezer and bring to room temperature.  Roll out onto floured surface and place three gravy coated meatballs in center of dough.  Fold edges over in thirds and seal ends by pressing with fingers.  Poke a hold with a wooden skewer in top of pocket.  Brush outside of unbaked pocket with butter or olive oil and place on prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining room temperature dough.  Place baking sheet in preheated oven and bake until pockets are golden brown, about twenty minutes.

 

Note: Make gravy first, then meatballs and make dough at least one day (maximum three days) prior to use or store bought.

 

Adapted from Sources:  Dough Meatballs and Gravy

 

19 Responses to Meatball Hot Pockets

  1. kita says:

    What awesome man food for your little dude! I bet he fells like such a big kid now! Not to mention – it looks like he scored a tasty treat out of the deal!

  2. sarah says:

    These are awesome! And totally perfect little man food- nice work!!

  3. Lacy says:

    LOVE this recipe! What a great idea, your son has quite the lunch bag ;)

  4. Food Jaunts says:

    Aw, I love this. I bet he really appreciated it. Nice twist by making it like a meatball calzone and I bet the mix of beef and pork made your meatballs delicious!

  5. briarrose says:

    Meat was my first thought for man food. ;)

    What a great recipe. I would be all smiles with this pocket on the plate in front of me.

  6. Hope your son’s first day at school went swimmingly. These meatballs are a big food-hug.

  7. Alyssa says:

    That bread looks amazing! Your little man is lucky to come home to this after his first day of school!

  8. This looks a little complicated for me. Great reading though

  9. Creating your own hot pockets is such a good idea. And not one item in the ingredient list I don’t know, unlike the boxed version

  10. Oooh I love these. These look so tasty, lucky little man!

  11. Ann says:

    I love this! I bet your little man did, too!

  12. This meatball pocket looks SO good! What a great treat for your little one! Perfect man food, carbs and meat!

  13. Definitely agree with your assessment of man food – mine loves all things spicy, saucy, meaty… and I think he would LOVE these meatball pockets, though I definitely would too! Thanks for sharing!

  14. M. J. says:

    Looks good and I bet it tasted wonderful!

  15. Man food is either hearty meat stuff or absolute junk game stuff (chips, nachos, dips, etc.). I’m not sure if the meatballs, especially the hot pocket ones are man food because I’m a woman and you have me drooling with that picture. It looks so, so fantastic.

  16. Liz says:

    My guys would surely approve! Yup, they are all about the meat…the more the merrier. And with a big chunk of carbs would gild the lily. So meatball pockets is a double score! Thanks for the idea…and SO yummy with your Sunday gravy~

  17. Charissa says:

    This is such a fun idea…I love it…and it would be so easy to plop in a lunch bag when you’re on the go!

  18. I love meatballs. This pocket looks amazing! I want to have this for dinner! Kind of like a meatball sub, only better!

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