Albondigas Subs (Spicy Spanish Meatball Subs)
Try this Spanish twist on a meatball sub!
- For the warm, fire-roasted salsa:
- 2 medium poblano peppers or 4 large jalapeño peppers
- 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
- 3 to 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/3 palmful
- 1/2 cup lager beer (such as Corona) or white wine
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 28-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
- Juice of 1 lime
- For the meatballs (albondigas):
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 pound ground pork
- Salt and coarse black pepper
- 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons grated onion
- A generous handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 egg yolk, beaten
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, a generous handful
- 1/3 pound Spanish chorizo, casing removed and coarsely chopped
- EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
- 4 crusty sub rolls or 6-inch pieces of French bread, split open or 12 small crusty dinner rolls, split (for sliders)
- Toppings and garnish suggestions:
- Chopped hot pickled vegetables or pickled pepper rings
- Sliced or chopped pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives
- Cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Thinly sliced or chopped scallions
- Shredded Manchego cheese or queso fresco crumbles
Yields: 4 entrée-size servings of 6 meatballs per sandwich or 12 sliders of 2 meatballs each
For the salsa: Halve peppers and seed them. Place them skin-side up on a baking sheet and blacken them under broiler with oven door ajar to let steam escape. Or, char them over an open flame on a stove top burner.
Place charred peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic food storage wrap to cool. Once cool enough to handle, peel and chop peppers. Switch oven to 400°F.
Heat 2 tablespoons EVOO in medium saucepot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, season with salt, pepper and oregano, and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in beer or wine. Add chopped roasted peppers, tomato sauce and fire-roasted tomatoes, heat through and reduce heat to low to keep warm. Just before serving, stir in Tabasco sauce and lime juice.
For the meatballs: Toast nuts in a small pan over medium heat until golden in color and fragrant. Process them in a food processor into fine crumbs, reserve, wipe out bowl and return it to the base.
Place pork in a mixing bowl and season with salt, lots of black pepper and paprika. Add garlic to pork then grate the onion directly over the bowl to collect the juice from onion as you grate it. Add parsley, egg yolk, breadcrumbs and the reserved ground-up nuts.
Place chorizo in food processor and grind into a very fine chop. Add chorizo to pork and mix well to combine ingredients evenly. Drizzle liberally with some EVOO.
Score the meat into 4 pieces and from each section form 6 small meatballs. Arrange the balls on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet as you roll them. Roast 12-15 minutes until deep golden brown. (The rack allows the heat to circulate around the meat and brown evenly without turning.)
Serve meatballs in sub rolls topped with the salsa and your garnishes of choice. Have plenty of cold beers or soft drinks on hand to cool down with.
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