Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tapas-style meatballs in sherry cream sauce

I've made meatballs before, but this flavor combination was inspired by some I had at Café Sevilla in San Diego. The paprika and the cumin make them seem exotic. 

All measurements are estimated; I tend to make meatballs by the seat of my pants, as it were. Don't omit the shallot in the sauce; it really makes a distinctive difference.


1 lb ground beef
1 chub of seasoned pork breakfast sausage (I use R.B.Rice Mild or Medium)
1/4 onion, minced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 pinches cumin
salt or seasoning salt to taste
1 egg
(optional) about 1/2 cup of texturizer; I used cold cooked rice, but rolled oats or bread crumbs may be used instead.

Mush everything together thoroughly in large bowl. Melt a couple tablespoons each of butter & olive oil in a heavy skillet. Drop small meatballs in the hot skillet and cook over medium heat; don’t let them get browned too much before they are cooked through. As the batches of meatballs are cooked, remove them to paper towels to drain.


1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
optional: 1-2 tsp. beef bullion powder
1/3 c sherry
1/2 c half & half
1 Tbs tomato paste
thickener: 1 Tbs flour, or 2 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot starch (I use arrowroot lately)

When all the meatballs are cooked, scrape up the browned bits and add the additional fats. Saute the garlic & shallot over med-low heat until well softened. Add the beef bullion power if using (Note: bullion powder can be very salty, and if you’re using cooking sherry, which already has salt, the result can be overpowering). Add the sherry, cream, and tomato paste and cook until bubbling. Dissolve the thickening starch in a bit of cool water and quickly stir into the sauce. As soon as it thickens, reduce heat to low, return meatballs to the pan and cover to simmer for 5 minutes.

These are fantastic with green peas.

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