Dominican Style Meatballs

by Chef Zee

Stewed Dominican Meatballs – Albondigas Guisadas

Dominican Style Meatballs are truly a unique treat. If you’re wondering, they are completely different from traditional meatballs that you may find at an Italian restaurant. In fact, whenever I make these traditional Dominican Style Meatballs, it makes me wonder — what exactly is a traditional meatball?

Every culture has its own version of meatballs, yet here in the United States, we seem to equate meatballs with Italian cuisine. I think it’s important to note that while Italian meatballs are awesome, (I am a certified meatball lover and connoisseur) meatballs are actually versatile. You can infuse any flavors that you want and pair them with a variety of different foods. 

Dominican Style Meatballs!

Dominican meatballs are infused with traditional Dominican flavors like onions, peppers, garlic, and Dominican orégano. My recipe is very similar to my grandmother’s. In fact, I have tried tweaking this recipe time and time again only to implement key ingredients that I feel this dish can’t go without. For example, my recipe calls for soy sauce and chicken bouillon cubes. Now before you gasp and think — “OMG the sodium!” Just note that you have to strike the perfect balance of the two ingredients to get a meatball that’s right on the money.

Dominican meatballs are like mini pockets of Carne Guisada (stewed meat). In fact, we refer to this dish as “Albondigas Guisadas,” which translates to stewed meatballs. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many of the ingredients that we use to make the Dominican Style Carne Guisada are in this Meatball recipe.

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Now one of the tweaks that I’ve made to this recipe from my grandmother is that I strongly urge you to use grass-fed ground beef whenever possible along with free-range pasture raised eggs. The two make a huge difference! I also recommend that you use UNSEASONED breadcrumbs. Let’s not forget that we want these meatballs to be tender and full of Hispanic flavors. Using already seasoned breadcrumbs can actually alter the flavor. 

Carne Guisada Recipe & Video!

Lastly, before we jump into this recipe, know that slow and steady wins the race. What does that mean? It means that you want to cook this dish over medium heat so that we don’t burn the meatballs before they’re fully cooked. The same goes for when we’re sauteing the veggies for the sauce. If you allow all of the flavors to develop at the right pace without burning them– then your taste buds will forever be thankful! 

If you want to see a step-by-step video on How to Make Dominican Style Meatballs visit my YouTube Channel- Chef Zee Cooks! 

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Dominican Style Meatballs | Albondigas Guisadas Dominicanas | Stewed Meatballs | Chef Zee Cooks

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Serves: 5 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 2 voted )

Ingredients

  • Ingredients: Meatballs
  • 1 ½ - 2lbs Grass-fed Ground Beef
  • ½ Onion Diced
  • ¼ Green or Cubanelle Pepper Diced
  • 5 Garlic Cloves Mashed
  • 2 tsp DR Orégano
  • ½ tbsp Sazón con Achiote
  • 1 tbsp Salsa China
  • ½ tbsp Sopita (Chicken Bouillon Cube)
  • ½ cup Plain Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Large Egg
  • Ingredients: Sauce
  • 1 Onion Diced
  • 1 Pepper Diced
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • ½ tbsp Sazón con Achiote
  • 1 tsp DR Orégano
  • ⅓ cup Tomato Paste
  • ½ cup Water
  • ½ tbsp Sopita (Chicken Bouillon Cube)
  • ½ tsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbsp Spanish Olives *optional

Instructions

  1. Season grass-fed ground beef with diced onions, cubanelle peppers, mashed garlic, soy sauce, chicken bouillon cube, Dominican orégano, sazón con achiote, fresh lime, black pepper, large egg and bread crumbs. Mix everything until it’s well combined 
  2. Using a small spoon or your hands, form the meatballs to your liking. The bigger the meatball, the longer that they will take to cook. I recommend making small to medium sized meatballs for the best texture and flavor. Set meatballs aside. You can store meatballs in the fridge for up to 2 days before cooking 
  3. Over medium heat, add olive oil. Brown meatballs on all sides flipping every so often. Remove from heat once they have developed their outside color 
  4. Now add sliced onions, peppers, and diced garlic. Saute with sazón con achiote, Dominican orégano, black pepper, chicken bouillon, and red wine vinegar. Mix all together until well combined. Saute veggies for 3 mins 
  5. Add tomato paste and mix in. Add water to help tomato paste break apart. Simmer for 5 minutes. Then add Spanish olives and meatballs. Flip meatballs so that they’re coated in sauce. Reduce flame down to low and cover pot with lid. Simmer for 20 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through and tender. Serve with rice, beans, plantains or your favorite veggie/starch.

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