Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Albóndigas de Frailes (Friars' Meatball Soup)

After going to San Juan Bautista's Living History Day a couple of weeks ago, I came up with my own version of Albóndigas, meatball soup. Encarncion included several different recipes for meatball soups in her cookbook. I liked her recipe for Albóndigas de Frailes, Friars' Meatball Soup, though I did make a few changes.

For the meat, I think it's really important for the boys to understand that food doesn't just appear in the market wrapped in paper or plastic wrap, so I bartered a jar of my shallot-beer-cacao nib marmalade with "the best killer in our family" for some ground venison. The boys are excited to eat meat from an animal that their Uncle Brian killed, cleaned, and prepared. Me, too!

I started with a mirepoix (chopped mixture of celery, onion, carrots, and the pumpkin pieces from my pumpkin vase) plus chopped parsley, oregano, mint, cooking them till fork tender. Toss in 4 C thinly sliced kale.

Add stock to fill up the pot about 3/4 of the way. I used 8 C of chicken stock. Bring that to a boil.

In the meantime, make the meatballs. 1 C caramelized onions and fennel, 1 C ground almonds, 1 lb ground venison, 1 T ground cumin, 2 T chopped fresh cilantro, 1 T chopped fresh mint, 1 egg. Mix that all together and form teaspoon-sized meatballs.

Drop the meatballs into the boiling broth. And simmer for another 30 minutes or so, till the meatballs are cooked through. When I reheat this for serving tomorrow, I will stir in fresh mint, thyme, and oregano.

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