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Three meatballs in a blue bowl with two small saucers with condiments on the left side.

Jumbo Brisket Meatballs in San Marzano Tomato Sauce

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5 from 14 reviews

  • Author: Carlos Leo
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 9 portions 1x


Jumbo Brisket Meatballs are so tender and flavorful in an aromatic San Marzano Tomato Sauce. This sauce is a quick simmer with smoked chili flakes, orange peel strips and marjoram leaves. These jumbo meatballs are called polpette in Italy.


Units Scale

Jumbo Brisket Meatballs

  • 2+1/2 pounds ground brisket
  • cooking spray
  • 2 cups unsalted matzo meal
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4+1/4 teaspoons Pure Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed smoked chili flakes, or you can use red pepper flakes.
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon ground fennel seeds (optional). The flavor of the fennel is very characteristic. You can adjust to your taste if it’s too strong for you.

San Marzano Tomato Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (about 18 garlic cloves) sliced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled, drained and crushed, San Marzano plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh marjoram leaves
  • 5 (4 x 1 inch) orange peel strips
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed smoked chili flakes, or you can use red pepper flakes.


  • Fresh marjoram leaves


Make the Jumbo Brisket Meatballs

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with cooking spray.
  2. Combine main ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, add the ground brisket, matzo meal, water, eggs, olive oil, sea salt, ground fennel, black pepper and crushed smoke chili flakes.
  3. Mix together with your hands until combined, but do not overwork the mixture
  4. Make meatballs: Shape meat into 16-19 large balls (about 1/3 cup each). Arrange meatballs on prepared baking pan. I got 19 Jumbo Brisket Meatballs.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until browned and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of meatball registers 150°F; about 22 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the San Marzano Tomato Sauce

  1. Cook garlic in olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir often until garlic is soft but not brown, about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Make sure you don’t burn the garlic. If you need to reduce the heat, do it.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, marjoram leaves, orange peel strips, salt, and crushed smoked chili flakes, or you can use red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then remove from heat as soon as it reaches a boil.
  3. Transfer the Jumbo Brisket Meatballs into the San Marzano Tomato Sauce in the saucepan.
  4. Serve warm, garnished with marjoram leaves
  • Prep Time: 23 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Category: meatballs
  • Method: Bake, stove top
  • Cuisine: Italian, Jewish
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