I am pretty certain that every place on planet earth has their version of meatballs. When I think about Spanish cuisine, I don't automatically think "meatballs". Do you? But they are on pretty much every single menu in town and you are no home cook if you don't have your favourite casera recipe.
This was my very first attempt at the Spanish style Albondigas en Tomate. I went to my trusty and reliable source, Karlos Arguiñano! I have not had a failed recipe from him yet. This recipe is a close replica of his and I have to say was pretty darn authentic. Filed in "To make again."
I don't use beef or pork often because I live in a house with mostly chicken and fish lovers. Well, except for my son who is the ultimate carnivore. That being said, when it comes to diner the majority has to rule as I am not a cook to order. Today, I caved and made meatballs for the boy, knowing full well that my husband or daughter wouldn't even give them a second look. Sometimes, just sometimes, we have to indulge those we love.
So, this morning with the temps soaring to 30 degrees, the African wind blowing a gale, and my migraine setting in for the long run, I started on meatballs to make my child happy.
Was it worth it? He loved them and and went back for seconds. Happy mom. There is something quite satisfying when you make a dish that someone loves.
A few little notes about the meatballs.
They are pretty basic and straightforward and the recipe pretty easy to follow. In any case, here are a few little tips to help you along the way.
First of all, if you find the sauce too thick, add a little water until it reaches the desired consistency. As for breadcrumbs, I used very fine store bought ones. I find these the best in recipes like this. When frying the meatballs, make sure to move them around the pan and roll them over to ensure they are browned over. That is pretty much it and you should be on your way to perfect meatballs.
Here in Spain these are generally just served on their own. Today, we served them over pasta and it was the perfect combo!
Albondigas en Tomate (Meatballs in Tomato Sauce)
Serves 4 / Prep time: 25 minutes / Cook time: 1 hour
For the meatballs:
1 lb/500 grams ground beef
1/2 Cup/45 grams fine bread crumbs
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
Small bunch of finely chopped parsley
Olive oil for frying
Extra parsley for garnish
For the sauce:
2 lb/1kg tomatoes, chopped
1 Onion, peeled and chopped
4 Garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoon soya sauce
Make the sauce first. In a large deep sided skillet set over medium to high heat, add the olive oil, onions and garlic. Stir well and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stir well and reduce heat to medium low. Leave to cook for about 20 minutes or until the tomatoes are completely soft. Stir occasionally while cooking. Add salt, pepper, sugar and soya sauce. Stir well and transfer to a blender to blend the sauce. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Mix really well with your hands. Form into small balls and repeat for all the mixture.
Heat enough olive oil in a large skillet to go about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Add one meatball to test if the oil is hot enough. It should sizzle. Add all the meatballs and cook for about 5 - 7 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
In a large clean skillet set over medium heat, add the tomato sauce and meatballs. Stir well and cook for a further 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with extra parsley. Serve straight away.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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