Catalonian meatballs is a sumptuous comfort food that can be served as an appetizer or main dish. The olives and ham make the dish tastier by adding more flavors, while the cayenne pepper gives it a hint of spice. For this recipe we simmered the meatballs in the sauce, but you can also bake it in the oven.
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
6 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
2 strips bacon, cut into half inch pieces
For the sauce:
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups water
1 cup pitted green olives
2 ounces cured ham, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/16 teaspoon ground cayenne
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley
Combine the ground beef, ground pork, garlic, egg and breadcrumbs. Season it with salt and pepper in a large bowl. With your hands or using a spoon, form meatballs around 1 inch in diameter.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the bacon for 3-5 minutes or until crisp. Transfer them to a plat lined with paper towels or in a colander to drain the excess oil.
Next, fry the meatballs in batches for 4-6minutes each or until they are browned. Place the cooked meatballs in a heavy pot or Dutch oven.
Using the same skillet, prepare the sauce by sautÃ©ing the chopped onions for 5minutes or until they are soft and translucent. Add the flour and stir it for a minute. Slowly pour the water over the flour and onion mixture. Mix well.
Place the bacon, olives, ham, tomato paste, ground cayenne and cinnamon in the skillet. Cook it for 1 minute or until it is heated through. Pour the sauce over the meatballs in the Dutch oven. Cover and let it simmer for 30 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked. Transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle with parsley before serving. Serve immediately.
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