Saucy Meatball Subs

Saucy Meatball Subs

Mr. Critic Editor Zane messaged me this morning. He said, “I think you know why I’m messaging you.”

I respond with a frantic reply as I run around the supermarket on my lunch break. The problem with the arrangement in my flat is that I only cook once a week. I often forget that I have to contribute to the fine publication that is Critic and then I get heckled by Zane. Then I end up frantically running around Pak n’ Save (not a place you want to be flustered in).

I threw a chunk of frozen mince onto the bench this morning before I left the house so my options were limited to mince. 500g of mince.

After spending the weekend peering through the glass cabinets of swanky establishments I couldn’t afford to eat at, I decided that the latest up and coming food trend is sandwiches. From croque monsieur to po boys, the meaty sandwich is the new it-girl of food porn.

Having a craving for meaty balls covered in cheese I decided the classic meatball sub with a saucy slaw was on the menu tonight. It is basically just spaghetti and meatballs minus the spaghetti and in a bun. Balls and buns. My favourite.

You can use any sort of bun really but a baguette serves four girls plus my future husband (he doesn’t know this yet) nicely.


Serves 4-5

  • 500g beef mince
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ˝ cup breadcrumbs
  • Small handful of rosemary leaves, chopped finely
  • ˝ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ˝ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Splash of oil
  • Small handful rosemary
  • ˝ teaspoon chilli flakes
  • ˝ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika;
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small tin tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup grated cheese

  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cubs shredded red cabbage
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • ⅓ cup Best Foods mayonnaise

The awkward other bits that don’t quite fit into their own category:
  • Buns for 4-5 people
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • More mayonnaise – all the fucking mayonnaise


  1. Mix all the meatball ingredients together and roll into small, tight balls. Heat up a non-stick frying pan with a splash of oil and brown the balls until they are cooked through. You may need to do this in two batches. Leave to one side while you make the sauce.
  2. In a deep-dish frying pan, sauté the onion in the oil at a medium temperature. Once the onion has softened add in the garlic, salt, herbs and spices. Cook for another minute before stirring in the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Pour in the tomatoes and water. Simmer for 15 minutes then pour in the meatballs. Leave to simmer for another 15 minutes. Add in small amounts of water if you think it is getting too thick. Stir in the cheese.
  3. Toss all the slaw ingredients together.
  4. Turn the oven onto a high grill setting.
  5. Slice the buns lengthways, smother in mayonnaise, then spoon in the meatballs and sauce. Top with cheese then place in the oven to grill the tops and melt the cheese for a couple of minutes. Once out, stuff the sides with slaw and serve.
This article first appeared in Issue 23, 2014.
Posted 4:38pm Sunday 14th September 2014 by Sophie Edmonds.