Prepare the meat stuffing first. Keep the stale bread to soak in the milk so that it gets soft.
Then combine all the stuffing ingredients in a large mixing bowl including the meat, soaked bread, seasoning, oil, onion, garlic. Leave to rest until further use.
Now to hollow out your tomatoes, cut out the tomato base so that you have a large enough opening. Cut out the tomato fruit flesh and place the fruit flesh into the casserole dish, which you will use to oven roast your filled tomatoes so that it will be part of the sauce (we don't waste).
Place your hollowed-out tomatoes in a row into the casserole dish and stuff with the meat stuffing. Close the stuffing with the cut off tomato end to create a tomato hat.
Preheat your oven to 400° Fahrenheit/ 200° Celsius.
Add the sauce ingredients into the casserole dish around the tomatoes with meat stuffing, including the tomato sauce, water, seasoning, herbs, bay leaf. Mix the sauce ingredients a bit so that they get combined.
Drizzle your meat-stuffed tomatoes with olive oil and bake at 400° Fahrenheit/ 200° Celsius for about 30 minutes or until the meat is cooked.
You can use lean or 80:20 ratio fatty meat, beef or pork or both. It's up to you. I recommend using 80:20 fatty meat and a mixture of ground beef and pork meat if you want juicy, flavor balanced meat stuffed tomatoes. See post for detailed info.
For the sauce you can use fresh or dried mixture of herbs. I like to use fresh herbs whenever possible. Use a combination of chopped thyme, savory and rosemary (as seen in the post picture). If you use dried herbs reduce the quantity to add a combination of about 3-5 Tablespoons of dried herbs, such as thyme, savory or rosemary. You may skip one herb if you can't get it. Ther perfect flavor combo is thyme, savory and rosemary.