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Here is an easy meatball recipe – Spanish style. Cooked in a rich tomato sauce with classic, Spanish flavors, albondigas are hearty. A great 1-pot dish.
Albondigas may not be a word many people outside of Europe know of. I certainly didn’t before our visit to Spain. In fact, the word albondigas, derives from Arabic. Food culture and migration is such a fascinating subject.
Simple to make and from everyday ingredients, the meatballs gently simmer away in a rich and hearty tomato sauce. And with classic Spanish flavors, this might be the best meatball recipe you can make.
Homemade meatballs are easy on the budget and in Spain, albondigas are popular with people of all ages. These pork and beef meatballs are popular as tapas all year round in Spain, especially in the cooler months.
Are you new to cooking? Or, are you looking to cook an easy affordable dish delivering a classy result? If so, a Spanish meatballs recipe might just be for you.
Meatballs are Easy on the Budget and Popular with Family and Friends
I love to cook with ground beef and ground pork. Fast cooking and flexible ingredients in all sorts of dishes. Spiced ground meat is fabulous to dress up some of the less-loved vegetables such as cabbage.
And another reason is that kids love ground meat. No bones or chewy bits and the basis for such popular meals, such as Spaghetti and Bolognese Sauce (or is that ragu now?).
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And, meatballs are in the same category. Who doesn’t like them? You can enjoy meatballs all around the world.
Different cultures have their own versions and they’re all good. But which culture has the best meatball recipe and where did meatballs originate?
Italy? That is a good guess but it is highly unlikely. The answer may surprise you. Go here for some history on the origin of meatballs from a previous post.
You can Dress Up an Easy Meatball Recipe to be a Classy Meal
Learning how to make meatballs provides you with a world of options when it comes to putting meals on the table. Making homemade meatballs can range from the very basic appetizer meatball, to meatballs in sauce, or even baked meatballs. Asian cultures often steam their meatballs.
Homemade meatballs are great comfort food. Meatballs suit summer as well as winter cooking. In summer, you can cook out – just great for appetizer meatballs while socializing outside around the grill. But, in winter you can really dress them up! A Spanish meatballs recipe like our albondigas recipe produces a hearty sauce rich in Spanish flavors. But, all made with simple ingredients.
And therefore, I think an easy meatball recipe like this one is a great choice for someone new to cooking or maybe lacking confidence.
And if you are after a low stress dinner party course with a bit of class about it but isn’t difficult to make, an albondigas might be the perfect choice.
And so, to the recipe.
Easy Meatball Recipe with Spanish Flair
These pork and beef meatballs are an easy recipe to learn how to make meatballs. I like the combination of pork and beef but feel free to just use ground beef or ground pork. All you need for the recipe is a heavy-based pan and a mixing bowl. There are 3 steps to making our albondigas recipe.
The first step is to combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and form the actual meatballs using your clean hands. I like to make them a little smaller than a golf ball, making them perfect for appetizer meatballs or for small mouths if you are feeding children.
The second step is to lightly brown the meatballs for about 3 or 4 minutes until all sides have some color. You have a decision to make here. If you don’t want to make the accompanying sauce, you can continue to gently cook the meatballs in the pan for a further 5 minutes or so and just serve the meatballs plain. This is a great choice if it is summer or you are just looking to make appetizer meatballs or a simple tapas.
The third step is to prepare a simple but rich tomato sauce to gently simmer the meatballs in. An albondigas recipe generally includes a sauce such as this one to fully flavor your homemade meatballs. Using the same pan, you prepare the sauce and then return the browned meatballs to gently simmer away. The sauce will thicken and develop a great depth of flavor.
An easy meatball recipe, wouldn’t you agree? Spanish culture at its best and they are perfect to serve as tapas for 4 to 6 people or as a first course of a Spanish themed dinner party. Or, why not throw a tapas party?
Do you have a favorite easy meatball recipe? Leave a comment to tell others about it.
|Servings||Prep Time||Cook Time|
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs fresh
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1/2 lb beef, ground (minced)
- 1/2 lb pork, ground (minced)
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp paprika, smoked
- 1 tsp cumin, ground
- 1 tbsp olive oil for frying
- Tomato Sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil for frying
- 2 cloves garlic crushed finely
- 1 onion, brown finely diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups tomatoes, canned, crushed
- 1/2 tsp paprika, smoked
- 1/2 tbsp parsley finely chopped
- Make the meatballs using a mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and milk and allow to soak for about 2 minutes. Add the remaining meatball ingredients except the olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. I use my clean hands to do this. Then firm into medium-sized meatballs, about 16.
- In a pan over moderate heat, add the olive oil. Gently fry the meatballs until they are browned all over, about 4 minutes. You may need to do this in 2 batches. Carefully remove the meatballs.
- In the same pan over moderate heat, add a further tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic, onion and bay leaf. Cook stirring occassionally for about 2 minutes. Add the canned tomato and paprika and cook for a further 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Add the meatballs into the mixture and allow to simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally and add water if the sauce becomes too thick.
- Serve immediately in a bowl and add parsley for a garnish.
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