Albondigón (Latino-style meatloaf or Spanish meatloaf) is a flavorful, juicy minced beef dish, like none you've tried before. This is a recipe that is worth trying, you'll keep it in your family favorites list.
Why we ❤️ it
This albondigón is a marvelous dish made with inexpensive, easy-to-find ingredients, but the presentation is amazing, and the flavors spectacular.
The meat stays juicy inside, the flavors held in by the crispy bacon crust.
Albondigón is how we call meatloaf in Spanish, at least in some Spanish-speaking countries.
Albondigón is not a universal name in Latino countries. It is also known as Pastel de Carne (Meat Cake), Molde de Carne (Meat Loaf), Rollo de Carne (Meat Roll), Asado Alemán (German Roast) in Chile, Pulpeta in Cuba.
While doing some research on the subject to make sure I am not writing nonsense, I have found myself astonished at just how many countries have a national meatloaf version.
Different countries will have different versions, and even from family to family, it will vary. Many Latin countries add whole boiled eggs in the middle, some add chopped boiled eggs to the meat. Different vegetables, herbs, and seasonings are also part of the preparation. Puerto Rican Albondigón, for example, has Worcestershire sauce added to it. The Colombian version is seasoned, amongst many other flavors, with cumin and clove.
The Dominican version, such as it is, is closer to the Puerto Rican one, but this is a dish that is not very common in our cuisine, and cooks will add their own touch.
You can eat this warm (preferable), or chilled and thinly sliced as a cold cut in sandwiches. Amazingly, it tastes better after chilling overnight, with a flavor and texture resembling Dominican "salami".
I loved it served with puré de yautía, but it would go equally well with arroz blanco and habichuelas negras guisadas, or a side of puré de auyama, and my favorite (pictured here): puré de yuca con cepa de apio.
About this recipe
I have found inspiration in the many variations I've tried in the Dominican Republic, as well as in the many other versions I've encountered elsewhere.
For this one, I have combined ideas from all over Latin América, and the mixed bacon comes in place of the chopped ham so common in this dish, and it's added for flavor and moisture.
This dish does not require bread crumbs and is keto-friendly, gluten-free, and celiac-friendly. It yields 6 servings of two slices or 6 servings of 2 slices each.
[Recipe] Albondigón (Dominican, Latino-Style, or Spanish Meatloaf)
- 1¼ pound bacon, [0.56 kg] divided
- 1 medium red onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon oregano (dry, ground)
- ¼ cup tomato sauce
- 1 pound minced beef, [0.45 kilos], you can use half and half ground beef and ground pork
- 1 egg (medium)
- 1 tablespoon minced curly parsley, (plus more for garnish)
- ½ red bell pepper, minced
- 1 tomato, minced
- Preparing: Heat oven to 350ºF [175 ºC]. Spread the bacon covering the bottom and sides of a medium bread mold. Set aside two strips of bacon for later use.
- Seasoning the meat: Mince the remaining bacon. In a large bowl, combine the bacon, onion mixture and tomato sauce with the minced beef. Knead with your hands to mix thoroughly (remember to wash your hands carefully before and after to prevent cross-contamination).Mix in the egg with a spatula, followed by parsley, bell pepper, and tomato, and mix until combined.
- Making the albondigón: Place the meat mixture beef in the bread mold, and form an elongated meatball on top of the bacon. Wrap the meatball with the bacon, making sure the slices of bacon overlap.
- Cooking: Cover the mold tightly with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for 25 mins.Remove from the oven and discard the aluminum foil. Return to the oven and increase heat to 450 ºF [230 ºC]. Cook for another ten minutes, or until the bacon turns golden brown and has crispy edges.
- Serving: Let it rest for five minutes before slicing, garnish with parley, then serve.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.