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This recipe is a simple way to make authentic tasting tapas style Spanish Meatballs known as Albondigas Salsa in Spain. Topped with Black Bob or Garlic & Black Pepper Cheshire or any of our savoury range of cheese is the finishing touch to make this dish truly delicious. Recipe by Simon Spurrell Co-Founder of the Cheshire Cheese Company.
Makes enough for four people shown here served in two batches in large tapas bowls.
Preparation time approx 25 minutes cooking time 45 minutes
For the meatballs
300g lean minced beef 150g pork mince 1 free range egg1 slice of bread50ml milk 1 teaspoon each of finely chopped herbs, rosemary, parsley, chives (1/2 tsp for dried)1 clove of crushed garlic1 teaspoon of pureed ginger1 teaspoon of Smoked Paprika
For the sauce
1 onion finely chopped1 celery stick finely chopped1/2 a red pepper finely chopped1 small carrot finely chopped1 clove of crushed garlic1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes (if you prefer a smoother texture puree with a stick blender first)1 teaspoon of sugar1 teaspoon of dried oregano1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar 3 tablespoons of olive oil For the topping 100g Black Bob or Vintage Gold or Smokey Redwood or Garlic & Black Pepper or Garlic & Tomato cheese Handful of fresh chopped herbs
1. Soak the bread in the milk until its absorbed and in a large bowl combine this with the meat and all of the other ingredients then season well with salt and black pepper.
2. Mix with your hands thoroughly but do not overwork the mixture as it will become tough when cooked. Form the mixture into small balls by rolling them in your hands to about the size of a golf ball. Place them onto a baking tray and leave them in a fridge for 4 hours or ideally overnight. The milk will act as a tenderiser for the meat and the flavours will marinate if left longer.
2. To make the sauce finely chop the celery, onion, pepper and carrot. Add a tablespoon of the olive oil to a pan and saute the chopped ingredients on a medium heat for 5 minutes or until beginning to soften, whilst stirring regularly. Add the crushed garlic clove to the pan and cook for a further minute stirring continuously. Add the tomatoes, sugar, herbs and balsamic vinegar, stir and bring up to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Taste and then season with salt and black pepper at the end of the sauce cooking.
3. Heat a thick based frying pan with the remaining olive oil and when this is hot add the meatballs in batches to brown off. Do not overcrowd the pan as you want to be able to roll them about in the pan to get an even colour and keep their shape. Brown them off for 5-10 minutes drain and then transfer them to a ovenproof dish or tapas bowls.
4. Spoon the sauce on top of the meatballs and then grate as much cheese as you want on top of them. Place into a preheated oven 200c / Fan 180c for 20 minutes, keeping an eye on the cheese so that it doesn't become too brown or burn.
Serve bubbling hot sprinkled with fresh chopped herbs, along with crusty bread and on the side, fresh sliced tomatoes and olives, drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive oil.
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