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Albóndigas en Salsa - Meatballs in Sauce

Introduction & method

These little meatballs are quite popular in restaurants and cafés all over Spain. It's one of those dishes where everyone's mother has her own recipe, and hers is unquestionably the best. Unusually for Spanish meals, albóndigas actually come with a bit of gravy.

Albóndigas en Salsa - Meatballs in Sauce Recipe

Begin by soaking the breadcrumbs in the milk.

Make the salsa (sauce)

Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel the carrot and cut into narrow slices. Add a glug of vegetable oil to a frying pan on medium heat and add the onion and carrot. Stir until well coated in oil, put a lid on the pan and let the vegetables sweat for 10-15 minutes. The aim is for the onion and carrot to soften, but not brown.

Make the albóndigas (meatballs)

Mix the breadcrumb and milk paste into the meat. Add salt, pepper, parsley and egg and mix thoroughly. With wet hands, divide the mixture into about 10 golfball sized pieces, roll them into balls, and coat with flour.

Finish the salsa

When the onion and carrot are somewhat softened, add the stock and bring to the boil. Then reduce it to low heat and sift in about 2 tablespoons of flour, a bit at a time, stirring well after each addition. 

Cook the meatballs

Heat a generous glug of oil in the frying pan on medium heat. Add some meatballs (how many depends on the size of your pan - it's important not to crowd the pan) and brown them all over. Keep them moving so they don't stick. When they are browned, add them to the sauce and fry another batch of meatballs. When all the albóndigas are in the sauce, cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve with potatoes (chips / fries or sautéed) and maybe a vegetable.


Ingredients & Info

 500 grams minced pork
 1 egg
 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
 3 tbsp milk
 0.5 tsp parsley
 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
 0.5 tsp salt
 500 ml beef or chicken stock
 1 medium onion
 1 carrot


Oil for frying, flour to coat the meatballs and thicken the sauce.

US Customary/Imperial

Makes 10 meatballs
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 45 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour.