Adding seafood to a meaty pot might sound like a bizarre idea. Yet for many centuries, Catalans have enjoyed the delicate results of this very pleasant marriage.
It’s not uncommon to find Catalan recipes that blend ingredients from the land with others from the sea. Catalans call them ‘Mar i Muntanya’ which means ‘Sea and Mountain’. We love these recipes! So much that not so long ago, we even told you about their history and origins in one of our posts.
This one for ‘mandonguilles amb sípia’ (meatballs with cuttlefish) is one of the most popular ‘Mar i Muntanya’ recipes. It makes for a sumptuous meal that brings the richness of the meat and the freshness from the sea together in one single dish.
It’s also a very convenient option when you need to cook for many people, as you can prepare it the day before and the flavour will only get better overnight.
- 600 g Cuttlefish
- 400 g Beef (mince)
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 2 units White Onion (small)
- 2 units Tomato (ripe)
- 100 g Bread (from the day before)
- 250 ml Milk (whole)
- 1 unit Egg
- 50 g Almonds (ground)
- 150 ml White wine (I use Albariño wine)
- 1/2 l Fish stock
- Plain flour
- olive oil
- Ground black pepper
- Fresh parsley (alternatively you can also use dry parsley)
- Clean the cuttlefish with plenty of water under the tap. Separate the tentacles off the body and chop them very finely. Dice the body in even bits of around 1 cm. Reserve.
- Put the bread slices into a bowl and soak them with the milk. Reserve.
- Chop the garlic, the parsley and the onion finely. Grate the tomatoes.
- Take the bread slices off the milk, drain them and put them into a big bowl together with the mince beef.
- Add the garlic, parsley and onion and mix everything thoroughly using your hands. Add the beaten egg and mix it all again.
- Take small portions of the mix and shape them into little balls, the size of a ping-pong ball. Coat them with a little flour to stop them falling apart when frying.
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry the meatballs until golden on the outside. Leave them to rest over some kitchen towels in order to absorb any oil excess. Reserve.
- Heat some oil in a deep pot and fry the cuttlefish bits over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Take out and reserve.
- In the same pot, heat some more oil and start caramelizing the onion, being careful not to burn it. Once translucent, add the white wine and reduce it over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the grated tomato and cook for an extra 5 minutes.
- Finally, add the cuttlefish and the meatballs, add the fish stock and simmer for 25 minutes over a low heat, reducing the stock until the sauce becomes thick and gelatinous.
That’s it. Plate them and serve them as they come, together with some white rice or even better, with some couscous!