Thursday, March 18, 2010


Albondiga is the word for meatball in Spain and Latin America from the Arabic word al-bunduq. It is thought to be a Berber or Arab dish brought to Spain during the period of Muslim rule. My favourite is this Mexican version using Chipotle Chilli which gives the dish a wonderful smokey flavour.


500g minced pork and beef, about half of each
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano, Mexican if you can get it
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 egg
oil, for frying
fresh oregano sprigs, to garnish

For the sauce

1 chipotle chilli, seeded
oil, for frying
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 cup beef stock
400g can of tomatoes
1/2 cup passata


Add all the meatball ingredients together and mix with clean hands until well combined, then roll into 4cm balls. Refrigerate while you prepare the sauce.

Soak the dried chilli in hot water for 15 minutes then drain and chop reserving the soaking water. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add the chilli and fry for one minute then add the beef stock, tomatoes, passata, the soaking water and season to taste. Simmer over low heat stirring occasionally.

Heat oil in a fry pan and fry the meatballs in batches, turning them occasionally, until browned. Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce mix and simmer for ten minutes so that the meatballs are well coated in the sauce. Garnish with oregano and serve with rice.

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