Albondigas (Spanish Meatballs)

I love meatballs! What can I say! There’s something so satisfying in them. I especially love the Spanish version called albondigas. I always order them in Spanish restaurants and always eat the lion’s share. So, making them at home is dangerous as I have a tendency not only to eat them from the pan, before serving, but also returing to the pan after eating to finish them off; one by one. The sauce for this is beautiful and will greatly benefit from you using good quality chopped tomatoes.

250g veal mince
250g pork mince
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
4 tablespoons fino sherry
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 egg yolks

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
salt & pepper
200ml beef stock
1 tablespoon honey (or sugar)

Other Ingredients:
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Flour (for rolling the meatballs in)
extra fresh parsley (for garnish)

To make the meatballs, combine all the meatball ingredients together thoroughly with your hands. Put about 2 tablespoons of flour in a shallow bowl. Take out walnut sized pieces and roll into balls then roll in the flour. Arrange on a plate.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the meatballs in small batches and fry, shaking the pan to turn them, for 3-4 minutes until they’re browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and cook the remaining, adding a little more oil with each batch.

To make the sauce, add a final tablespoon of oil to the pan. Gently fry the onion for 4 minutes until translucent and lightly browned. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, stock, paprika, salt & pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 10 minutes before returning the meatballs to the pan and simmer for 10 more minutes. Stir in the honey and check for seasoning adding more salt, pepper or honey to suit your taste.

I served mine as a main course with vegetables, but it works well with pasta, crusty bread or on it’s own in a small portion as part of a tapas spread.

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