Meatballs with Sofrito Sauce - WildAire
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Meatballs with Sofrito Sauce


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.

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 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.

Finish sauce:

  • 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.