Spanish Meatballs In Tomato Sauce
My friend, Issachar is an amazing chef and runs Kaixo restaurant in Singapore. This is his recipe for Spanish meatballs. I was very skeptical about them because I thought meatballs were boring. But these were SO GOOD!
Makes about 20 meatballs.
For the meatballs
1 large egg, whole
500g of ground beef
4 slices of sandwich bread, only the white part, diced
Half an onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
For the tomato sauce
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of sugar
pinch of Pimenton de la Vera (Dulce) or Spanish sweet paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Start by making the tomato sauce.
Finely chop 1 onion.
Peel 600g of tomatoes with a serrated peeler.
Chop the peeled tomatoes into small pieces.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauce pan.
Add the chopped onions.
Add a pinch of Pimenton de la Vera (Dulce), which is Spanish smoked sweet paprika. I used 1/4 teaspoon. Add more if you prefer the sauce to be spicy.
Add the chopped tomatoes to the onions mixture and stir well to combine.
Add 1 fresh bay leaf. I used 2 dried pieces here because I couldn’t find fresh ones.
Add 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Add salt and pepper to taste. I added 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
And 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Cover the sauce pan and reduce the heat to a medium-low and let the tomato mixture simmer gently till it reduces to a sauce like consistency.
In the meantime, make the meatballs by adding 1/2 an onion to a food processor.
Add 2 cloves of garlic. I used 1 tablespoon of minced garlic.
Process till the onions and garlic are finely chopped.
Sweat the onion-garlic mixture in a frying pan with some olive oil. I just realised that I had missed this step. The meatballs still tasted great.
Add the onion-garlic mixture to 500g ground beef in a mixing bowl.
Slice off the crust of 4 slices of white bread.
Cut the soft white bread into small cubes of 1cm all round.
Add the chopped bread to the beef mixture.
Add 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley. Use Italian flat parsley where possible. I couldn’t find any, so I used English parsley.
Add 1 large egg.
Add salt and pepper to taste. I used approximately 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
Mix well to combine.
Shape the meat mixture into balls that are slightly bigger than the size of a golf ball size. Roll the meat tightly to form meatballs.
Add 3/4 cup of olive oil to frying pan. The layer of oil should be approximately 3/4cm in the pan.
Put the pan on medium-high heat and add the meatballs to the oil.
Gently roll them around in the oil to brown all surfaces and ensure even cooking.
When the meatballs are a deep golden brown, remove them from the frying pan and set aside.
The tomatoes-onion mixture should have reduced to a sauce consistency now. You can use a hand blender to puree the mixture. Or leave the small bits of tomatoes and onions as they are.
Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and let the meatballs warm through.
Garnish with more chopped parsley.
The printable version of this recipe is here -
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