I have never been in luck tasting moist, juicy and flavorful meatballs. Either they are too dry or soggy and bland(for meatballs in stew). I have always visualized meatballs to have a nicely thin baked crust texture on the outside with a moist, juicy inside. The feeling should be like I am having a party of flavors in my mouth.

After some serious research and experimenting, this combination of beef meatballs and romesco sauce recipe has satisfied my ideal requirements and is really a keeper! I also love this recipe because the oven and blender do most of the work.

This romesco sauce, made with roasted capsicums, tomatoes, onions, garlic, almond, sesame seeds and spices, origniates from Spain and is packed full of flavor. You should be able to savor the earthy, smoky, tangy and slightly sweet flavor with a hint of heat.

You can store this spanish sauce in the fridge overnight and heat it up the next day for a more robust flavor, perfect compliment with the moist and juicy beef meatballs. You can also use this sauce as a condiments for other meats like roasted chicken, lamb, seafood or roasted vegetables.

It is a delightful addition to what you are already cooking at home and can transform the taste of a simple dish into something really exotic and exciting!

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Entree for my friend’s birthday lunch party. Photographed by Lawrence Teo from the Peepshow Machine. Website@ http://peepshowmachine.com or Facebook@ thepeepshowmachine

Spanish baked beef meatballs with romesco sauce

Ingredients:

Baked beef meatballs

  1. 500g minced beef
  2. 3- 4 tsp chicken stock cube/ powder
  3. 1 red onion (finely diced)
  4. 3 cloves garlic (finely minced)
  5. 2 tsp cayenne powder
  6. 2 tsp smoked paprika powder
  7. 2 tsp dried mixed italian herbs
  8. 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  9. 1 tsp potato starch
  10. 1 egg beaten
  11. 3/4 tsp salt
  12. 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  13. Olive oil

Romesco sauce

  1. 2 medium capsicums/ red bell peppers (halved and cored)
  2. 2 large tomatoes
  3. 1 red onion
  4. 6 garlic cloves
  5. 2- 3 dried chili peppers(re-hydrated by soaking in water. Drain water and pat dry)
  6. Olive oil
  7. 1/2 vegetable stock cube mixed with 2 tbsps warm water
  8. 1/2 cup roasted almonds.
  9. 2 tbsps roasted sesame seeds
  10. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  11. 1 teaspoon honey
  12. 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  13. 1 tsp cayenne powder
  14. 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  15. Salt to taste

Method

Baked beef meatballs

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in  a medium bowl and keep in fridge for at least 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  3. Lightly grease a baking lined sheet tray. Form balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place on the sheet pan.
  4. Drizzle or brush olive oil evenly and sparingly onto the meatballs. Bake on medium shelf for about 20- 25 minute or until cooked through and golden brown.

Romesco sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place the first five ingredients on a baking lined sheet tray, capsicums/red bell peppers with skin side up.
  2. Drizzle all with olive oil and roast in the oven for 15- 20 minutes.
  3. Remove garlic when tender. Continue roasting capsicums/ red bell peppers, tomatoes and onions until lightly blackened, about 40 minutes.
  4. Blend roasted almond nuts and sesame seeds until they are the texture of fine sand.
  5. Squeeze the roasted garlic out from the skin into the blender.
  6. Add the roasted vegetables and the rest of the ingredients. Blend until well combined.
  7. Pour the sauce into a bowl and serve with the warm baked meatballs.
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