Welcome friends of Paulina Cocina! We are going to cook a very traditional dish that never fails at any family meal: Gardener Meatballs. A very complete dish that includes meat and vegetables, soaked in a very tasty tomato sauce that is equally enjoyed by adults and children.

We invite you to enjoy this note, learning more about the meatballs in the gardeneranother way of calling them, with all the tips for choosing the meat, preparing the sauce and a Recipe for Garden-Style Meatballs with Potatoes finger-licking good!

About the Garden-Style Meatballs

At the heart of Spanish home cooking, the Gardener Meatballs Meatballs are a classic dish that is always on the family menu. They are meatballs (usually beef, pork or a mixture of both) cooked in a sauce that, unlike meatballs with tomato sauce, includes a variety of vegetables.

  • Given: The word “jardinera” in this context refers to vegetables, as the sauce usually includes a colorful mix of vegetables such as peas, carrots, green beans, peppers, among others.

The preparation of Albóndigas a la Jardinera may vary depending on the region or the cook’s preference, but it is always a comforting and tasty dish that combines the meat of the meatballs with the acidity and flavor of the tomato sauce and vegetables. It is served hot and can be accompanied by rice, potatoes or pasta.

6 Characteristics of Garden-Style Meatballs

  • Unmatched flavor: The meatballs absorb the flavour of the sauce, creating a symbiosis of flavours that delights the palate.
  • Juicy texture: The combination of meat and sauce guarantees a juiciness that makes every bite a great experience.
  • Variety of vegetables: The garden sauce incorporates a selection of fresh vegetables, adding color, texture and a healthy touch to the dish.
  • Enveloping aroma: The aroma that is released during preparation is a foretaste of the delight to come.
  • Adaptability: The recipe can be customized to individual taste, incorporating ingredients that further enhance its flavor.
  • Family tradition: Las Gardener Meatballs They are a classic dish that is passed down from generation to generation and is a way to express love through comfort food.

Choosing the meat for the Garden-Style Meatballs

Choosing the meat to prepare Gardener Meatballs It usually depends on personal preference and the result you are looking to achieve in terms of taste and texture. Some common options are beef, pork, chicken or even a mixture of several meats.

  • Beef: Beef, especially lean ground beef, is a popular choice. It has a robust flavor and can complement tomato sauce and vegetables well.
  • Pork Meat: Pork can also be a great choice. It adds a unique flavor and can make the meatballs juicier.
  • Mix of meats: Many recipes combine different types of meat, beef with pork. This can offer a combination of flavors and textures, and the fat from the pork can add juiciness to the Albóndigas a la Jardinera recipe.
  • Chicken or turkey meat: For a leaner option, you can opt for chicken or turkey. It’s important to note that these meats tend to be drier, so you may need some additional ingredients, such as egg or even cheese, to keep things moist.

Why are gardeners called mandonguilles?

Meatballs in the gardener It is an expression in Catalan that translates as Gardener Meatballs in Spanish. In this context, “meatballs” refers to meatballs, and “a la jardinera”, as we mentioned, indicates that the dish has a vegetable sauce that contains a variety of vegetables, such as peas, carrots, green beans and others typical of a stew or veal a la jardinera.

Catalan cuisine has several traditional recipes that include meatballs, and the meatballs in the gardener is one of them. The diversity of ingredients and flavours in this dish makes it popular and appreciated in the region. Every Catalan home can have its own version of the Albóndigas a la Jardinera recipe, and it is common for recipes to be shared among friends and family.

What is garden sauce for meatballs?

The garden sauce that accompanies Albóndigas a la Jardinera is a fundamental part of this dish, and it usually has several characteristics that make it delicious and distinctive. Although recipes may vary according to personal preferences, some common characteristics of the garden sauce are:

  • Tomato base: It can be in the form of crushed tomatoes, tomato puree or even fresh tomatoes. This base gives a juicy and acidic flavour to the sauce.
  • Variety of vegetables: The most distinctive feature of garden sauce is the presence of a variety of vegetables. This can include peas, carrots, green beans, peppers, onions, and garlic, as well as other seasonal vegetables. The combination of these vegetables adds color, texture, and flavor to the sauce.
  • Aromatics: Fresh or dried herbs such as parsley, thyme, bay leaves or basil are often included to add aroma and complexity of flavours.
  • Broth or liquid: Some recipes use meat or vegetable broth, while others simply add water. The liquid helps cook the vegetables and create a juicy sauce.
  • Condiments and spices: The sauce is seasoned with a variety of condiments and spices to enhance the flavor. This may include salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, among others, depending on personal preference.
  • Slow cooking: The garden sauce is cooked at a slow heat to allow the flavors to blend and develop properly. This slow cooking helps the vegetables become tender and the sauce reach a nice consistency.

5 tips for preparing garden-style meatballs

  • Mix of meats: Experiment with the ratio of beef to pork to find the best combination for your meatballs.
  • Thick sauce: For a thicker sauce, add a teaspoon of flour or cornstarch and mix well.
  • Resting time: Let the meatballs rest before cooking so that the flavors can fully integrate.
  • Fresh vegetables: Use fresh, seasonal vegetables to enhance the flavor and texture of the sauce. Gardener Meatballs.
  • Herbal Touch: Add fresh herbs at the end of cooking for enhanced aroma and flavor.

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Recipe for Garden-Style Meatballs

Servings: 4 portions

Preparation time: 45 minutes


For the Meatballs

  • 500 g of ground meat (can be a mix of beef and pork)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped and sautéed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Flour (to coat the meatballs)

For the garden sauce

  • 1 can (400 g) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 red pepper cut into strips
  • 1 carrot cut into slices
  • 1 cup green beans cut into small pieces
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf to taste
  • 1 cup of beef broth (approximately)
  • Fresh parsley (for decoration)

How to make the recipe for Garden-style Meatballs step by step

  1. In a bowl, mix the ground beef, egg, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Form meatballs of the desired size and coat in flour. Let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (optional).
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook the meatballs for a few minutes, until golden brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, adding more oil if necessary, sauté the onion and garlic until tender.
  4. Add the pepper, carrot, potatoes and green beans. Cook for a few minutes.
  5. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and add the thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
  6. Add the meatballs to the sauce and add the beef broth. Check that the amount of beef broth is enough to partially cover the meatballs and vegetables, adjusting if necessary. Simmer for 25 minutes, until the meatballs are fully cooked.
  7. Add the peas in the last 5 minutes of cooking to maintain their color and texture.
  8. Serve hot with a few parsley leaves on top.
How to make garden meatballs

Source: www.paulinacocina.net

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