Main Dish

Braised Meatball Sliders

Pedroncelli Winery

1220 Canyon Road
Geyserville, CA 95441

A great combination of flavors makes these braised meatballs the best you'll ever eat!


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
To make the meatballs, in a large sauté pan, warm just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and pork. Add the panko, cheese, egg, parsley, onion mixture, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Fry a little of the meat mixture and taste, adding more salt, if needed.

Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop out the meat mixture and roll into meatballs. You should have about 18 meatballs.

In the same pan used to cook the onions, warm more olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.


  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
  • Extra-virgin olive oil as needed
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup Pedroncelli Mother Clone Zinfandel
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef stock or broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Kosher salt, to taste
To make the sauce, in the same pan used to brown the meatballs, cook the onion over medium-high heat until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, adding more olive oil if needed. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.

Add the wine, stock, tomato paste and tomatoes with juices and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the meatballs, cover and cook until they are cooked through, about 25 minutes. Uncover and add the thyme, rosemary, oregano and basil. Increase the heat to high and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mustard. Add the pepper and adjust the seasoning with salt.


  • 18 Kings Hawaiian sweet rolls
  • Grated Parmesan cheese or sliced fresh mozzarella cheese for serving
Split the rolls in half. For each slider, place 1 meatball with some sauce on the bottom half. To gild the lily, grate more Parmesan over the sauce or add a slice of fresh mozzarella. Cover with the top half of the roll and serve immediately.