Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Family Recipe: Almondigas

Part of my Recipes to Disaster journal.

Ok, mainly for Dunbi from the RealityRavings site. This is an old-ish recipe that needs updating, but it's what I followed for my first attempt and what my brother still uses! A variation of it can also be found on my cousin's old blog. The result should NOT be a soup! :P

Edit: Apparently it's also called Albondigas, despite me calling it Almondigas this whole time! My childhood was a lie!!!

2/3 kg of minced pork
½ an onion, minced
2 eggs
Boiling water
1 & ½ tbsp salt (confirmed this is too much, mom uses 1.5 teaspoons - but I used tablespoons so there!)
3 cooking tablespoons of Tomato paste (erm, that means heaping)


Part One - Make the Balls
1.  Put flour into a bowl and set it aside, you'll be using it later in step #5. Also get an empty plate ready.
2.  Put ground pork in a mixing bowl (not with the flour).
3.  Crack open the eggs and add them to the pork. Also add the salt and a few shakes of pepper.
Joe's Note: If you are like me, you may need to remove eggshells at this point :P
4.  Time to get your hands -very- messy! You washed them first right? Good, get in there and massage the pork so that the egg mixes in fully.
5.  Once the meat is mixed with the eggs take a tablespoon of it and put it in the flour bowl.
6.  Gently roll it in the flour once then pick it up and in the palm of one hand roll it about like a dice until it becomes round.
Joe's Note: You do NOT want to roll it between both hands or compress it in anyway! If you do it will make the balls tough to chew and not nice later. 
7.  When you are happy with it, put the flour-ball onto the plate and repeat Step 5-7 until all that pork is used up.

Part Two - Brown them Balls (*snicker*)
1.  Prepare a strainer with a paper towel on top.
2.  Heat oil in a skillet or pan. The less oil you use, the faster the balls will brown.
3.  Brown the balls and remove from skillet - put them on that strainer.
Joe's Note: You are NOT cooking the balls at this point, just making them retain their shape! Infact, it's better if they are just a little colored. Should only take a minute or two before you take them out.
Jim’s Note: You can freeze them at this point (to serve at some future date by waiting till they cool down, putting into a container and putting into freezer)

Part Three - Making the Sauce
1.  Heat oil in a caserola,  re-use/transfer the oil from the previous step if you can. This adds flavour!
Joe's Note: Caserola = Caserole = cooking pot? :P
2.  Saute the onions till translucent and add tomato paste
3.  Mix in the balls.
4.  Add enough boiling water to cover the balls. 
Jim’s Note:  this is a tancha – small caserola = cover balls; larger one = not completely covered.   Remember this will become the “sauce”.  Too much water will make it soup! :P
Joe's Translation: Less is more when it comes to sauce! Don't try cover all of them with water (because I use big cooking pots)!

5.  Boil until balls become tender.
6.  Add a pinch of salt to the sauce at this point, so that it has some flavour on its own!
Jim’s Note:  Need to mix constantly (but gently) with a cooking ladle or the bottom ones will begin to stick to the caserola
Jim's Note 2:  They will start to disintegrate – that’s when you pull them out.  Should look like “almondigas” at this point.

7.  Serve

Mom's Advice: The longer you let that sauce reduce, the thicker and tastier it will become. Ofcourse the trade-off is you have to be there stirring the thing the whole time.

Joe's Result out of 10 (with mom's being a 10): 6 or 7.
I put too much water and made one ball to compact. Also, didn't wait for disintegration because I was getting hungry. :P

What I like eating with it:
Rice! Mom usually partners white beans with it too, but I'm ok with just plain rice.
And no, I don't know how to cook rice - that's why I have a rice cooker. ^_^