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Albóndigas en Salsa: (Meatballs)

These tapas meatballs are made with a combination of minced beef and pork, but you can use an alternative such as lamb or veal. This is a very traditional Spanish appetiser recipe (especially in the Canary Islands), but it can also be used in combination for a next level Spaghetti dish.

Serves: 3-4 | Prep Time: 15 mins | Cooking Time: 20mins | Difficulty: 3/10

Ingredients for the meatballs:

  • 3 slices of white bread.
  • 100ml milk.
  • 250g minced beef.
  • 250g minced pork.
  • ¼ of Spanish onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 Tbsp of Parsley.
  • 1 large egg beaten.
  • A pinch of sea salt and black pepper.

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 5 Tbsp good quality olive oil.
  • ¾ of a Spanish onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small Carrot
  • 1 Tbsp of Thyme.
  • 1 Tbsp of Rosemary.
  • 1 teaspoon sugar.
  • 1 glass of Spanish wine.
  • 1 x 400 g tin chopped plum tomatoes.
  • A handful of peas - if frozen place in a bowl of water to defrost
  • A pinch of sea salt and black pepper

How to make the Meatballs:

  1. To start with, add the milk to a bowl and allow the bread (that has been broken into many pieces) to soak.
  2. As the bread is soaking, prepare your vegetables for both the sauce and meatballs. This will consist of finely chopping the Spanish onion, carrot, garlic and parsely (at this point, peel the carrot prior to chopping)
  3. Add the egg to a bowl and beat for 2 minutes to allow the mixture to aerate slightly.
  4.  Now add the meat, vegetables, seasoning, egg and bread (after squeezing the excess milk out) all into the same mixing bowl and knead for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Please note, if you 'overwork' the meat, it will come out slightly 'rubbery' when finished - so use caution.
  6. Once the mixture is thoroughly combined together, take small walnut sized amounts of it, and roll in hands to achieve the desired shape
  7. Place meatballs in a lightly oiled, shallow roasting tin when made. It's traditional to shallow fry these in batches for 10 minutes and oven bake for 10 minutes when in the Canary Islands, but just roasting is a lot more healthy.
  8. Place the meatballs into the oven (180ºC/gas mark 4) and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  9. Take 5 minutes and enjoy a glass of Spanish Red wine before the next part.

Making the sauce:

  1. Add a small amount of oil to a frying pan and place on medium heat.
  2. Lightly fry the remainder of the onion, garlic and carrot. 
  3. Whilst frying the vegetables, season with salt and pepper, and add the finely chopped rosemary and thyme.
  4. Sprinkle sugar over the vegetables when they have finished frying and add some Spanish red wine (flambé is optional and can be done at this time by lighting the pan), to keep it simple, simmer until the wine has reduced by half.
  5. Now add the canned chopped tomatoes, meatballs (from the oven) and peas and simmer in a pan on a slightly reduced heat for a further 10 minutes. 
  6. If you prepare some spaghetti, this is a great way to make a Spanish meatball bolognese - but that's another recipe! 

~ Que lo disfrutes ~

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