This is a classic Mexican meatball dish that lends itself to so many applications – from rice bowls to sandwiches, breakfasts to burritos, tacos to pasta and much more. I make this for my family very regularly and always get the kids involved in the assembly process and cooking. There’s rarely any leftovers!
Chef Nud Dudhia, breddostacos.com
For the meatballs
- 2 Tablespoons rapeseed oil
- 1/2 onion diced / brunoises
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 500g beef chuck mince with at least 20% fat content
- 2 eggs
- 100ml milk
- 100g grated parmesan
- 100ml wine / stock
- 150g crushed croutons, breadcrumbs or stale bread
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
For the sauce
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Pinch of salt
- Coriander or any herb stalks finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo or any chilli paste such as sambal olek or even a hot sauce
- a splash of worcestershire sauce
- 100 grated cheddar or mozzarella (optional)
- Coriander leaves (optional)
Heat the cast iron pan to a medium temperature and add the oil. Once hot, add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. Take off the heat and add the cumin and coriander – leave to sizzle away and cool down.
In a large bowl combine the beef, eggs, parmesan, onion-garlic-cumin-coriander mix, salt, croutons, white pepper, stock/wine, cayenne and croutons. Mix together and form meatballs the size of golf balls using your palms.
Re-heat the cast iron pan and add a tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the meatballs and brown off for about 5 minutes. Set the meatballs aside and heat another slick of oil in the same pan. Add the other half of the onion and sauté for a few minutes until softened, before adding the garlic and herb stalks and continuing to cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, chipotle, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Cook out for 8 minutes and reintroduce the meatballs to the pan for another 4 minutes or so – if the sauce is looking too thick, feel free to add a splash of water. Add the cheese, place the lid on the pan and set aside. After a couple of minutes lift the lid off, and scatter over the coriander leaves. I like to serve the albondigas in the pan with a towel wrapped over the handle.