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Taste of flamenco

Taste of Flamenco- sherry meatballs

UNITED KINGDOM | Monday, 9 March 2015 | Views [376]

250g minced beef
250g of minced pork
1 egg (whisked)
2 tablespoons of fine breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves
100g ground almonds
1 glass of dry sherry
Beef stock
Bay leaf
Creme fraiche
olive oil
1. Mix the beef and pork mince together
2. Grind one garlic clove and add it to the mince mixture. Also add the egg, breadcrumbs and seasoning. Combine well
3. Shape the mince mixture into small balls 
4. Put olive and one whole garlic clove in a saucepan and heat. Once hot, remove and discard the garlic clove, and add the meatballs. Fry on all sides. 
5. Remove the meatballs from the pan and put to one side
6. In the same pan add the sherry and let the alcohol burn off. Then add the beef stock and a bay leaf.
7. In a dry pan lightly toast the ground almonds until they very slightly begin to colour. Then add the almonds to the stock mixture. If too thick add a bit more water. Add a spoon of creme fraiche
8. Then add the meatballs to the sauce. 
It's done. Yummy!
Story behind my dish
It was the sound of flamenco clapping that made me turn the corner and walk into the narrow alley. Once my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw two men - a lanky teenager standing next to a man in his 30s who was sitting on a doorstep cradling a guitar. He started playing - that delicate, embellished strumming of flamenco guitar and the teenager accompanied him with syncopated claps. I walked as slowly as I could to savour the moment, nodding as I walked past, and then the guitarist suddenly sang 'morena, la de los rojos claveles' (brunette, of the red carnations). My heart jumped with excitement and I felt myself blush. But not wanting to stare, or intrude, I smiled and walked on.
That's when I noticed a tiny street cafe. It had just one table outside - the perfect spot to listen to the musicians. I was ushered to the table and from the chalk board picked 'albondigas de Jerez' (Jerez meatballs) - after all I was in Jerez de la Frontera. A few moments later a steaming terracotta bowl of meatballs arrived. 
The smell of the meaty liquor, sherry and garlic, coupled with the beautiful guitar music, instantly took me to a primitive time of moorish beauty and simplicity. Those little balls packed a meaty punch and the thick sauce was the perfect partner with its comforting taste of almonds and slightly sour note from the sherry. I mopped up every last bit with a piece of bread and asked the waiter to give my compliments to the chef. When I was handed the bill, the recipe was written on the back. I still have that scrappy bit of paper ...10 years on.
I don't know if the music heightened my senses, but I've never tasted anything as good as those meatballs. Now whenever I'm feeling down I recreate that dish and I'm instantly transported to that little Spanish alleyway full of wonderful sounds, smells and tastes. 




Tags: albondigas, andalucia, flamenco, jerez, meatballs, seville, sherry, spain, spanish

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