Tapas-Style Meatballs (Albóndigas Pequeñas)

Albondigas1 (1 of 1)I think Spanish cuisine is one of the best in the world, but I don’t think I figured that out until well after I backpacked through Spain (with no money) right before college. It seems similar to Italian, but its flavors are quite different and distinct. One of my favorite Spanish culinary ingredients (besides saffron, of course), is sherry — it is commonly used in a variety of dishes, and it adds a fantastic depth of flavor. This delicious meatball dish is simple — it has the sherry, but I don’t think you’d be able to pick it out. So good, I hope you’ll try these tonight!

Albóndigas

6 oz ground lean ground pork
6 oz ground veal
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated or minced
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2 Tbsp olive oil

Sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely grated or minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 Tbsp dry sherry
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas

In a large bowl, mix together the ingredients for the meatballs with one hand until well-incorporated and smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from fridge, and form meat into meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and brown on all sides (I like to swirl and toss them in the pan so they brown evenly), about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Set aside.

Add the additional 1 Tbsp olive oil to same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 1 minute. Stir in wine and sherry. Turn heat to high. Bring mixture to a boil and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the cayenne, salt, peas and meatballs. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer another 10 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Season sauce with additional salt, if desired. Serve as part of a tapas meal (serves 6), or as an entre with rice and a vegetable (serves 4).

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5 thoughts on “Tapas-Style Meatballs (Albóndigas Pequeñas)

  1. Ema Jones

    Loved the sauce that you’ve made 🙂
    I’m adding some garlic salt instead of garlic cloves, hope it’s fine, as I don’t wanna use garlic here directly…

    Reply

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