Tapas are in Spain simply bar food, but outside of Spain have become very famous. In Spain every bar (with the word “bar” meaning a neighborhood hangout that is open all day and night and where you can also buy newspapers or lottery tickets) has a display on the counter that proudly displays the, often homemade, tapas. Tapas are usually straightforward and delicious. One of the most well-known tapas are albóndigas (pronounced with the stress on the ó): meatballs in tomato sauce. In my version I’ve added a bit of Spanish smoked paprika to the sauce for a nice smoky kick, and a bit of beef stock for added beefiness. Albóndigas are simple to make and well worth the effort. I served them at my 40th birthday party and they were devoured very quickly.
For the meatballs
500 grams (1.1 lbs) ground beef
1 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
4 Tbsp dry breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp wine (red or white)
flour for dusting
oil for frying
1/2 tsp salt
For the sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 can (400 grams/14 oz) of peeled tomatoes
60 ml (1/4 cup) beef stock
2 Tbsp olive oil
pinch of saffron
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp tomato paste
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add the browned meatballs to the tomato sauce…
…and stir to mix.
Cover and allow to simmer over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
The meatballs are now ready to be served. They can be reheated if needed in the microwave or by gentle heat on the stove with plenty of stirring.