Spanish Red Wine and Garlic Meatballs
1. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on medium-low heat. Setting aside three cloves of garlic, add the remaining 12 cloves to the oil and cook until golden, turning often (keep an eye out, you don’t want these to burn or your sauce will be bitter).
2. Once golden, remove from oil and set aside. Add one slice of your bread to the hot pan and toast on both sides.
3. Cut bread into cubes and place in a food processor along with your golden garlic and process until combined. Set aside.
4. Take the other two slices of bread, place in a shallow bowl and soak in water to cover. Remove the bread, squeezing as much excess water out as possible. Set aside.
5. Mince the remaining 3 cloves of garlic and add to a large bowl along with the soaked bread that you’ve torn into small pieces. To this, add 3 tablespoons of parsley, the rosemary, ground meat, salt, nutmeg, pepper and egg. Combine until well mixed.
6. Form small, cocktail sized meatballs, inserting one small Mahon cheese cube to the middle of each meatball.
7. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet on medium heat and fry your meatballs on all sides until golden brown. Add stock, red wine and gently stir.
8. Cut your ripe tomatoes in half and, using a box grater, grate each tomato half’s pulp directly into your skillet, discarding the skin (this is a nifty trick used throughout Mediterranean kitchens).
9. Add the reserved bread and garlic mixture. Stir gently, cover and simmer on low for half an hour until sauce is thickened.
10. When ready to serve, sprinkle with remaining chopped parsley and serve with some crusty bread to sop up all of the delicious sauce.
11. Enjoy with a good glass of Tempranillo or Garnacha.
These albondigas, meatballs, are cold-weather perfect: their bite-sized, saucy goodness makes staying in and sharing a beautiful thing. Sop up the sauce with some good bread and keep the Tempranillo or Garnacha flowing.