Since we can’t travel this Spring we’re travelling virtually. The last trip was to Turkey. This week we’re headed to Spain for some tapas.
Angela has put together the decorations complete with traverna sign, flamenco dancer and a string of decorative garland — we do need to work on the pictures as they didn’t do the look justice.
We’ve got a full menu planned: gazpacho, croquetas, patatas bravas, albondigas, courgette con queso and gambas al ajillo…and of course, a pitcher (or two) of sangria!
One of our favourite tapas are Albondigas or Spanish meatballs. These meatballs are covered in a luscious, spicy sauce that is a classic taste of Spain. For us, this is the centerpiece of a great tapas meal.
These take a bit of time, but are really easy to make. And you can do much of the prep the day before.
Spanish Meatballs (Albondigas)
One of our favourite tapas dishes. The pork and beef meatballs in a smokey, spicing tomato sauce are a great part of any tapas meal
- 500 gm beef mince (10-15% fat)
- 500 gm pork mince (15-25% fat)
- 4 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 2 sm onions coarsely grated
- 2 tbsp coriander, fresh finely chopped
- 3 slices stale white or sourdough bread blitzed
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes (400gm cans)
- 170 gm tomato paste (small 6 oz can or most of a tube)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 3 cloved garlic finely minced or pressed
- 1 tbsp dark brown sugar packed
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sm onion grated
- 100 ml water
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix by hand until combined. Don't over mix it or the meatballs will become dense.
Wrap the meatball mixture in cling film and put in the refrigerator for at least one hour – overnight is fine.
Using half of the oil, saute the onion and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat until the onion is soft.
Add the dry ingredients to the onions and saute for 2 minutes.
Add remaining oil and the tomato paste and saute for 5 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes, honey, brown sugar, thyme and water. Stir the sauce to combine the ingredients and simmer over a medium low heat for 30 minutes.
Cooking the meatballs
Take the meatball mixture out of the refrigerator. Take about 50 grams (about 1 ½ tablespoons) of the mince mixture and roll it into ball. Do not work the meat any more than is required to keep the meatballs light. Continue until all of the mixture is made into balls.
Being sure not to crowd the pan too much, brown the meatballs on all sides in a large skillet. Set each batch aside once browned.
Put the browned meatballs into a baking dish and cover with the sauce. Put into an oven at 350° F for about 20 minutes.
Serve in traditional tapas dishes with a sprinkle of paprika and a side of toasted garlic bread.
This recipe will serve 8 persons as a main or 15-20 persons as a tapas dish.