Meatballs are known as albóndigas in Spain, a name derived from the Arabic al-bunduq meaning hazelnut, or in this context, a small round object. As with many dishes in Spain, albóndigas are believed to be of Arab origin, thought to have been introduced to Spain during the period of Muslim rule. A staple tapas that can be found on the menus of many taperiás around the country, they are served both as an appetizer and a main dish, often in tomato sauce. As well as meat based ones, you also find them on the coast made of seafood, such as from cuttlefish in places such as Heulva in the south for example. Normally made with with breadcrumbs, we have instead used the regañas made with extra virgin olive oil which we crumbed in a food processor. Any breadcrumbs will do though if you do not have these to hand.Print
Spanish Style Meat Balls with Cranberry & Orange Salsa
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Cuisine: Meat
- 500g minced beef, pork and lamb
- 1 egg beaten
- 50g regañas, powdered or breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 500ml olive oil
- 100g cranberries fresh or frozen
- 1 orange (juice of)
- First we will prepare the salsa. In a saucepan, put the cranberries and juice of the orange and set on a very low heat. Stir regularly to avoid any burning and remove from the heat when you have a jam like consistency and put to one side. This should take around 10 to 15 minutes.
- Now for the meatballs. Instead of breadcrumbs in our mixture, we crumbed our regañas, made with extra virgin olive oil, into a fine powder in a food processor. We then split the powder into two separate bowls.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the minced meat, one bowl of powdered regañas or breadcrumbs (25gr), the beaten egg, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon, mix all the ingredients together until they have all come together.
- Now with your hands take small quantities of the mixture and roll into your meatballs. The size is up to you but probably about the size of table tennis ball is about right. Dust your meatball in the second bowl of powdered regaña so that they are well covered and put on a plate to one side. Repeat until you have used all your mixture.
- Now take a frying pan and add 500ml of olive oil, setting it on a medium heat. You want your meatballs to be half covered by the oil as you will turn them during cooking. When the oil is hot (you can test by adding a small amount of the mixture) add you meatballs and fry them until golden. Cook them in batches, maybe 4-5 at a time, instead of trying to add them all at once.
- Once they are all cooked, plate them and serve immediately together with orange and cranberry salsa.