Pork and orange appetizer albondigas (Albóndigas a la naranja)

As is frequently the case with these albondigas with a hint of citrus, once served, they disappear fast! I liked this recipe and I followed the original text to the T, then added a few things; making albondigas brings the advantage of being easily adaptable to your taste, accomodating happily whatever ingredients are available in your pantry. If planning a special event, you can easily freeze these albondigas, without the sauce, and heat them back up when its time to serve… You can serve them with picks, these make perfect appetizers...

Mexican orange albondigas

Ingredients for 36 meatballs:

* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1 onion, finely chopped
* 2 tbsp.) Pine nuts
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* Flour to coat the meatballs
* 1 lb. ground pork
* 1/2 lb. ground veal
* 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
* 1 egg, slightly beaten
* 2 tbsp. Finely chopped parsley
* 1 tsp. ground fennel seeds
* zest from one orange, very finely grated
* Salt and pepper

The sauce to go with these meatballs
* 1 tbsp. Olive oil
* 1 small onion, finely chopped
* 1 clove garlic, to be pressed in
* 1 cup canned tomatoes, chopped
* 1/4 cup white wine
* 1/4 cup orange juice
* 1 small cinnamon stick


1) First, saute the onions in a bit of oil until translucent; mix in the pine nuts and pressed in garlic and cook until the nuts are browned; set aside.

2) Spread some flour on a plate. In a bowl, mix the onions mixture we did previously, ground meat and the other ingredients for the albondigas; one by one, shape this mixture into bitesized meatballs, and roll them in the flour as you are making them.

3) Heat up more oil over medium heat and carefully fry the meatballs, making sure all sides are fried. Once cooked place them on paper towels, to drain the excess fat. Make them one batch at a time or about a dozen balls.

4) To make the sauce, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Pour in the tomatoes and their juice, the wine, orange juice and cinnamon stick; simmer about 10 minutes over medium heat setting until the sauce thickens.

Gently mix the meatballs to the sauce and heat, stirring to coat them well.

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