Hunter's hero

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 150g red onion, diced
  • 90g red pepper, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 240ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 slices sourdough bread, crust removed, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 450g minced beef (80/20 fat content)
  • 450g pork sausage, casings removed and minced
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tbsp minced Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 50g finely grated Parmesan plus 2 tbsp shredded, for garnish
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 hoagie rolls
  • 240ml marinara sauce, recipe follows
  • 12 slices mozzarella, about 350g
  • For the marinara sauce
  • 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1.35kg tinned San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh oregano leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1) Preheat the grill. Add 1 tbsp oil to a large saute pan over a medium heat and saute the onions, peppers and garlic. After 2 minutes, add the salt and cook until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.

2) In a medium bowl, pour the milk over the breadcrumbs and leave to soak for 5 minutes. Remove the bread from the milk and squeeze out excess milk, until the bread is moist but not soggy.

3) In a large bowl, mix together the beef, pork sausage, soaked bread, cooled vegetables, basil, oregano, parsley, pepper, chilli flakes, grated Parmesan and egg. Gently roll into 5cm balls.

4) Heat the same large saute pan used for the vegetables over a medium heat and add 1 tbsp oil. Cook the meatballs, browning completely until the internal temperature reaches 74C, using an instant-read thermometer.

5) Meanwhile, remove the insides from the hoagie rolls. To assemble the heroes, fill the hoagies with 4 meatballs each. Drizzle with 60ml marinara sauce and top with 3 slices of mozzarella cheese.

6) Place the heroes on a sheet pan under the grill until the cheese melts and turns golden brown. Top each sandwich with 1/2 tbsp Parmesan.

Marinara sauce:
1) In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil, add the onions and cook over a medium to low heat until the onions are transparent.

2) Add the garlic and cook until almost brown, then add the tomatoes. Cook for 1/2 hour over low to medium heat, then add the basil and oregano and continue to cook for 30 minutes longer.

3) Place in a food mill or a blender and puree into a sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Yield: 720ml

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