Albondigas are meatballs that are served in different manners in Latin America. Albondigas appear to have been introduced to Spaniards during the Moorish invasion. These, in turn, were introduced to Latin America by the conquistadores. Some countries, like Mexico, make a soup with these meatballs. In Bolivia they are served with a tomato base sauce and rice.
This albondigas recipe is very easy to make. It is full of flavor from the chili and spices. The meatballs will melt in your mouth. Go ahead and make a bunch because they freeze beautifully.
I like grating my onion into my meat when making these. I find that you get the wonderful flavor of the onion without the chunks. However, if you prefer to use minced onion by all means go ahead.
We will start this recipe by soaking a couple pieces of bread in milk. This will contribute to the tenderness of these meatballs.
This is what you need to do for this wonderfully satisfying and delicious albondigas recipe:
½ pound ground beef
2 slices white bread – crust removed
3 TBS Milk
1 TBS grated yellow onion + 1 medium onion finely chopped
2 TBS finely chopped parsley
4 garlic cloves – minced
1 chili pepper – seeded, membrane removed, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 small bell pepper – cored and finely chopped
4 large tomatoes
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 TBS Olive oil
3 TBS Flour
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Break up the bread and place it in a bowl. Drizzle enough milk on it to soak it completely. Disintegrate it with a fork. Place the meat in a bowl. Add the soaked bread, egg, grated onion, 1 TBS parsley, 2 garlic cloves and salt and pepper. Mix well and for medium sized meatballs. Roll them in some flour.
Heat a large skillet with some olive oil. Add the meatballs, in an individual layer, and fry until browned on all sides. Work in batches if necessary. Place them on a paper towel lined plate to drain off the excess fat. Set the meatballs aside.
If necessary, add a little more oil to your pan. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 6 minutes – until softened and starting to brown. Add the garlic, remaining parsley, bell pepper, chili pepper and oregano. Mix well and cook for a couple more minutes. Press each tomato, one at a time, against the largest grating blade of a grating box and grate tomato. You will end up with the whole peel in your hand. Discard it. Add the low sodium chicken stock and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Add the bay leaves.
Return the albondigas to the pan. Cook at a simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and serve with rice.
Albondigas w/o rice – CALORIES 352.10; FAT 20.58 grs (sat 6.13; mono 10.57; poly 1.59); PROTEIN 16.48 grs ; FIBER 3.75 grs; CARBS 26.32 grs; CHOLESTEROL 88.94 mg; IRON 3.25 mg; SODIUM 1047.28 mg; CALCIUM 94.18 mg
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