Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Worst Mexican Ever Cooks!: Albondigas

I just got back home from Austin, TX on Sunday and was having some cooking withdrawals. Sure, I had some fine meals ( of which I'll blog later....) but I've been ansy to try out some new recipes out of all the foodie mags I read on the plane. I was planning out my grocery list at my Mom's house (with the intent at making a stop at a real live grocery store so I could avoid the Walmarts) when I suddenly remembered my all time favorite soup: Albondigas. Out went the plans to find roasted red peppers and a leg of lamb. Enter Mexican comfort food.
Okay, so I didn't actually suddenly remember it. I've actually been hounding my mom for her recipe for ages. On Sunday, she finally shared.
There's a bit of a story that goes with this recipe. We got it from our neighbor when we lived in Perris, CA. about 13 years ago. Our families were pretty friendly, swapping recipes, sharing bird baths, afternoon snacks, etc. Then, they got a dog. A little yipper, to be exact. My dad had to commute for several hours to work and this little muther barked all day and all night resulting in little sleep and lots of stress. After speaking with the neighbors about the issue, we learned that our angst fell on deaf ears ( well, they maintatined that since THEY didn't hear the dog, it wasn't a problem.) So, my dad installed an antique fire alarm on the side of our house near their bedroom window. He blasted it all night to see if they heard THAT! They say they didn't. Anyway, after a long drawn out battle, we eventually had to call animal control to ask them to do something about the dog. Animal control came and took the dog! We didn't even count on that! They moved the bird bath back to our side, shoved my baby brother off his bike when he touched their lawn resulting in my mom's longest stream of profanities to date, and planted a hedge to screen us out (which I'm happy to report has finally grown in some 15 years later.) Fortunately, before the fallout we scored this recipe:
Albondigas ( Mexican Soup with Mexican Drama)
2 small cans of tomato sauce
1 to 2 lbs of lean ground beef ( make sure it's lean because it will get greasy otherwise.)
5 tsp. Tomato Chicken Boullion
10 cups of hot water
A rough handful of raw white rice
2 Tbsp. ground Mexican Oregano
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
6 bay leaves
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced potatoes.

In a large pot or dutch oven, put 10 cups of water on to boil.
Combine beef, rice, oregano, and garlic and form smallish meatballs.
When water is boiling, add tomato sauce, boullion, and bay leaves. Return to a boil and drop meatballs in one at a time.
When meatballs are cooked through, add carrots and potatoes. Boil until tender or about 20 minutes.
Serve with tortillas.
This recipe is so good your mom will cuss like a sailor, too.


KCAimee said...

Help!! I'm cooking this RIGHT NOW and just realized that the ingredients say 10 cups water and the recipe directions say 5 cups water. Which one should I use?!!

Amanda said...

Oh NO!!! I'm so sorry! It's actually 10 cups. I have no clue why I put 5 other than I was thinking in halfsies ( or with half a brain.) On another note, thanks for reading. I hope you don't hate me forever.

KCAimee said...

I compromised with 7 cups of water which turned out to be about right since I only used 1 lb. of ground beef for meatballs. This soup was so good! I've tried several albondigas recipes, looking for the right one and I think yours is it. I might throw in a few variations like adding celery and maybe using an egg and some cilantro in the meatballs, but this recipe was spot on! Thanks for sharing it. BTW - I LOVED the story about your crazy neighbors.