11 Mar Meatballs with Sofrito Sauce
The WildAire Wine Club enjoyed this recipe, along with paella and a few others, for our February get together. For more information about the wine club dinners, click here.
I’m a big fan of La Rambla, a local tapas restaurant, and was able get the ingredients for this recipe from the owner. I found the directions on Food Network and added a few touches to make this my own.
- 1 medium onion diced really small – carmelized according to directions below
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 lbs ground lamb or veal
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 1 lb fat back (or ground up fatty bacon if the store doesn’t have fat back to sell)
- 4.5 tbsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1.5 tsp chili flake
- 2.5 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp. smoked paprika
- 3 tbsp. oregano
- 3 tbsp. chopped parsley
- 2 cups red pepper diced really small
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup cream
Sofrito Sauce Ingredients:
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 medium onions – diced
- 1 can tomatoes
- 4 cups paquillo peppers (roasted red peppers thrown in the oven and roasted a little more for flavor)
- 1/2 cup chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup ground Cumin
- 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1 cup grated Manchego cheese
Carmelize the Onions:
- Heat olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Turn heat to low, cover and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are quite soft and translucent.
- Uncover, turn the heat back up to medium and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, until onions are golden brown and most of the liquid is evaporated.
- Transfer the onions to a bowl and let cool. Keep the large sauce pan for starting the Sofrito sauce.
Start the Sauce:
- With the same large sauce pan used for carmelizing the onions, add olive oil and heat over medium heat until shimmering
- Add onion, heat to soften 3 min.
- Add garlic, heat another 3 min.
- Add tomatoes, spices, stir. Then bring to a boil and stir in the wine and sugar.
- Partially cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Form the meatballs:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a separate container, mix the spices
- Add meat and fat to big bowl with the carmelized onions and wine
- Add mixed spices and cream to meat and use your fingers to mix until evenly combined.
- Wash hands, coat hands with olive or grape seed oil.
- Roll mixture into 2 inch balls.
- Place on either silicon mat or parchment lined sheet pan, about an inch apart.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until lightly browned.
- Take sauce, a couple of cups at a time, and place in blender.
- Pour back into Serving pot
- Place meatballs in the sauce and simmer until completely cooked through
- Add cream and stir thoroughly, not breaking up the meatballs.
- Serve with grated Manchego Cheese.