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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

PERFECT Meatballs in Tomato Sauce.

Alongside tapas, you will find 'raciones' which are often just a larger portion of the tapas of the day at a Spanish ‘bar’, big enough for two or three to share.

Raciones are most often on the bar menu and if you order something from this side of the menu you will get a basket of bread and often a side salad, plus enough forks for the party present at the table - you can specify whether the ‘racion’ is for two or ten! Of course, the main difference is that a ‘racion’, unlike a tapa is not complimentary. Yes! In the 'bares' of Granada, tapas are still complementary with the purchase of a drink!

Ordering a ‘racion’ is a fantastic way of socializing with friends around a table without the expense of paying for a formal meal. They are often the best way of sampling the best local cuisine as the most popular dishes make up the ‘racion’ menu. They can include everything from simple serrano ham and cheese with olives, to mini paella portions or even Albondigas con Tomate.

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

(Albondigas Con Tomate)
500g veal and pork mince
1 slice white bread
¼ cup milk
2 tbsp. chopped Parsley
2 tbsp. chopped Oregano
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
½ cup flour
Olive oil for shallow frying 

Tomato Sauce:
700g pureed tomatoes
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. chopped basil

Pre-heat oven to 150°C
To make the meatballs, soak slice of bread in milk until all the milk is absorbed and the bread soggy. Place the mince and all other meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Place in the fridge for about half hour.
With floured hands, form spoonfuls of meatball mixture into small spheres and lightly coat in seasoned flour.  
Place a generous amount of olive oil in the bottom of a frypan, enough to cover the base. When hot, fry the meatballs in small batches, turning as needed to brown all over. They don’t have to be cooked all the way through at this point, as they will finish cooking in the oven in the tomato sauce. Place in an earthenware dish and cover with alfoil.
To make the tomato sauce, place a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of a frypan and sauté the diced onions until soft. Add the tomato puree and all other ingredients. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Check seasoning.
Finally, pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs and place in the oven to warm through for about half hour.
Serve on warm plates with crusty bread and your favourite accompaniment. We love them with a creamy celeriac and potato mash and a tomato, red onion and feta salad. Yum!!
Serves 4-5

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