Today we are going to learn how to make Spanish meatballs. The meatballs are normally served in tomato sauce and although the size of this pieces is generally small, you will finish full after you are done with your plate, which will lead you directly to siesta time!
Although the Albondigas are originally from Spain, you can also find them in Mexico and other South American countries.
What are albondigas?
Albondigas are the Spanish name for meatballs and are basically ground meat rolled into a small ball and sometimes other ingredients are added to it. The Spanish albondigas are normally served with tomato garlic sauce.
Easy Spanish meatballs recipe
The authentic Spanish meatballs are normally served in restaurants and bars, but today we are going to learn to do homemade Spanish meatballs, as those are always the best! The albondigas recipe normally takes between 45 minutes and 1 hour but depending if you want to have it as a tapa or as a main dish the size and the cooking will be different.
- 250g of ground beef
- 250g ground pork
- 1 chopped small onion
- 1 tablespoon of parsley
- Salt and pepper
- A cup of breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 slice of bread soaked in milk
- 3-4 garlic cloves
Sauce for Spanish meatballs ingredients
- 1 or 2 cups of tomato paste
- 3 or 4 tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of paprika
- 2 Cayenne peppers
- Olive oil
- Salt, pepper and thyme
- 2 Garlic cloves
How to make Spanish meatballs
- In a bowl add all the ingredients but not the breadcrumbs, mix them and refrigerate for 30-40 minutes.
- Roll the meatballs until they look like a golf ball (later keep rolling with the breadcrumbs)
- Heat some olive on a pan and place the meatballs
- Once this are almost done, set them aside and start with the sauce. (will be fully done with the sauce)
- Heat some olive oil on a pan (could be the same one) and add the garlic until is soft.
- Add the tomatoes, the paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper and keep it until is almost done.
- Add the meatballs to a lower heat and simmer the meatballs with the sauce for about 20 minutes
- Your easy Spanish meatballs recipe is done, serve and enjoy them!
What to serve with Spanish meatballs?
The Spanish meatballs can be served in two different ways, as a tapa or as a main course. If it´s a tapa these will be served as an unique plate with nothing in addition, but if it´s a main dish it usually goes with something else, two of the things that can be shared with Spanish meatballs are chorizo and potatoes, but the most common main dish is the Spanish meatballs with rice.
Spanish meatballs with rice
It is said that grandmas take their grandchildren and they serve them food until they can´t eat no more, well in Spain the Spanish meatball with rice is the dish used for this adage. And that´s because if big meatballs can be heavy you cannot imagine how heavy is to mix them with rice.
But the plate is delicious, the rice with the sauce of the albondigas is really good, and keep in mind you can never say no to a grandma!!
The name albondigas comes from the Arabic word al-bunduq which means hazelnut, it refers to the similarity of the size between all the meatballs. It is said that the origin of this food is from Arabic countries. It´s an Islamic influence from the Arab invasion of the Iberian Peninsula in 711 AD.