Monday, December 22, 2014

Slow Cooker Albondigas

Years ago, a co-worker of mine shared her recipe for Albondigas with me. Over the years, I've tweaked the original recipe here and there and it's become a favorite of ours on chilly autumn and winter evenings. I've made it over and over and over, but never in a slow cooker. Well, when Hamilton Beach came along as one of our sponsors here at 37 Cooks, I immediately thought to myself, "why not try slow cooking my Albondigas?" The Hamilton Beach Set & Forget 6 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker is great! It's so big and I love that I can program it for a set time and it automatically switches to the "warm" setting when the time is up, keeping the soup nice and warm until we're ready to eat. This is a great feature, especially during the busy holiday season when we don't always have time to fuss with dinner late in the day. I'm happy to say that the soup turned out great (it's been husband and neighbor approved.) I will definitely be making my Albondigas in the slow cooker from now on!

Slow Cooker Albondigas
by Susan W.

For the meatballs:
1/4 cup long grain rice (not instant rice)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 egg
1/3 15-ounce can tomato sauce (reserve the rest for the soup)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the soup:
2 quarts beef stock
2/3 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Anaheim chiles, roasted*, peeled, seeds removed and chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the meatballs, place 1/4 cup rice in 1/2 cup boiling water and set aside for a few minutes while you chop onions and mince the garlic. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef, egg, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, cumin, kosher salt and ground pepper. Drain rice really well and add to bowl. Gently mix ingredients together with your hands and then form into 1 1/2-inch meatballs, setting each meatball aside on a plate.

For the soup, first prepare your chiles (directions below.) Combine all of the soup ingredients in the slow cooker and stir well.

Gently place the meatballs into the soup (don't stir.) Set slow cooker to "low" setting and cook for 7 hours (the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget slow cooker will automatically switch to the warm setting when the time is up.) Serve with flour tortillas and butter or some crusty bread. Enjoy and have a great holiday season!

*To roast chiles: Rinse and pat chiles dry. May them on a baking sheet and place baking sheet under broiler. Watch the chiles very closely while broiling. When the skin turns black, turn and continue broiling until the skin on each chile is black on all sides. Remove to a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for about 15 minutes. Peel, remove seeds and chop.


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