These Spanish-style meatballs are prepared with a quick béchamel, which makes them wonderfully moist and tender. They’re cooked in a deeply flavorful tomato-based sauce made with wine and brandy, then topped with crisp mushrooms.
Slideshow:More Meatball Recipes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dredging
1/2 cup milk
1 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons minced parsley
1 tablespoons white Rioja or other dry white wine
1 large garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, halved crosswise
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white Rioja or other dry white wine
3 tablespoons brandy or dry sherry
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound mixed wild mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster and chanterelle, cut
into 1-inch pieces
How to Make It
Make the meatballs In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour; cook over moderate heat, whisking, until a thick paste forms, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and cook until thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape into a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add the chuck, pork, eggs, parsley, wine, garlic, paprika, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper; mix well. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
Form the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Dredge half the meatballs in flour. Cook over moderately high heat, turning, until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and meatballs; don’t wipe out the pan.
Make the sauce Grate the tomato halves on the large holes of a box grater set in a bowl until only the skins remain; discard the skins.
Add the onion, carrot, garlic and a generous pinch of salt to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and paprika and simmer over moderate heat until slightly reduced, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the flour, then stir in the wine and brandy and simmer until barely thickened, 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until very smooth. Return to the saucepan, whisk in the stock and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the meatballs to the sauce, cover and simmer over moderately low heat until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Uncover and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, cover and keep warm over very low heat.
Meanwhile, make the mushrooms In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add half the mushrooms; season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining oil and mushrooms.
Spoon the meatballs and sauce into bowls, top with the mushrooms and serve.
The meatballs can be refrigerated in the sauce for up to 2 days. Reheat gently and stir in the parsley before serving.
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Review Body: Outstanding. But I would split the work over two days as it is a lot of work. Well worth it. I substituted ground veal. Wonderful with a tapas style fried potato/bell peppers/carmelized garlic dish.
Review Rating: 5
Date Published: 2017-09-13
Author Name: BrennaSmith
Review Body: Wonderful! The meatballs were tender and very flavorful however the sauce is where this recipe shined. I would double the sauce next time, there was only a couple spoon fulls per person and I really feel that each guest needed about a half cup. Great leftovers too.
Review Rating: 4
Date Published: 2017-08-31
Author Name: MichiganCook
Review Body: Excellent!!!! Absolutely would make this again!!! A little time consuming, so making the meatballs ahead of time would be good if making for company. Very flavorful....wouldn't change a thing.
Review Rating: 5
Date Published: 2017-09-11
Author Name: Franklin
Review Body: This is a fantastic recipe with a very distinctly Spanish flavor profile. I had never made meatballs where the binding agent was a bechamel before. Most other recipes I've done use eggs, milk, and bread to bind, but this approach resulted in a great texture and flavor. The meatballs were a little more "delicate" than others I've made and required some care during the cooking to avoid breaking, but I only lost a couple. In the future, I'll probably make a double batch of the meatballs and then freeze and vacuum seal for future use. If you do that, then this would be a do-able weeknight meal. As mentioned below, the sauce is really amazing and could probably be used in a number of other dishes as well. The mushrooms are a great accent too -- though I used Oyster mushrooms which I found a little soft. I'll probably go with something more "meaty" like Chantrelles next time. Finally, don't forget a nice crusty baguette to mop up the sauce. Five stars for sure!