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Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs


Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs in Smoky Tomato Sauce
Serves 8
A queso-filled version of albóndigas, these hearty mouthfuls are top-notch party food. Be gentle when forming the meatballs to ensure they remain tender.
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Ingredients
  1. MEATBALLS:
  2. 2 pounds ground beef
  3. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  4. ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  5. ½ cup breadcrumbs
  6. ½ cup mayonnaise
  7. ¼ cup whole milk
  8. 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  9. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  10. 5 ounces smoked Idiazábal cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  11. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  12.  
  13. SAUCE:
  14. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  15. 1 yellow onion, chopped
  16. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  17. 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  18. 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  19. 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  20. ¼ cup dry red wine
  21. 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Instructions
  1. MEATBALLS: Combine beef, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, milk, smoked paprika, and salt in a bowl. Using your hands, gently mix all ingredients to incorporate. Shape mixture into 2 tablespoon–size balls. Poke a hole in each ball and insert 1 cheese cube. Re-form meatballs to seal in cheese. Refrigerate meatballs for 30 minutes.
  2. Warm olive oil in a large, wide skillet over medium-high heat. Sear meatballs, in batches if necessary, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total (they will not be cooked through). Transfer meatballs to a platter and set aside; do not wipe out skillet.
  3.  
  4. SAUCE: Add olive oil to same pan used for the meatballs. Once oil is warm, add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add paprika, anchovy paste, and sugar, stirring to combine. Cook for 1 minute, then add wine, stirring quickly to scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan. Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil.
  5. Add meatballs to sauce and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
culture: the word on cheese https://culturecheesemag.com/

Rebecca Haley-Park

Rebecca Haley-Park is culture's Managing Editor and resident stinky cheese cheerleader. A native New Englander, she holds a BFA in creative writing from University of Maine at Farmington. Her favorite cheese: Harbison

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