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Albondigas al Buyor (Greek-Jewish Meatballs in a Sweet-and-Sour Sauce)

A recipe for Albondigas al Buyor (Greek-Jewish Meatballs in a Sweet-and-Sour Sauce) from the cookbook, 100 Best Jewish Recipes.
Course Main
Cuisine Greek
Keyword albondigas, beef, Greece, Greek, Jewish, meat, meatball, sauce
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 4 Servings


For the meatballs:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 slice white or brown bread 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 small onion quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 grinds black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 large sprig parsley
  • 1 1/2 pounds (500 g) ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon flour mixed with a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil

For the sauce:

  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 grinds black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar or 2 tablespoons clear honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon or English mustard
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (5 ounces, 150 g) tomato paste diluted with 1 cup (225 ml) water


For the meatballs:

  • Mix the eggs, torn bread, onion, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and parsley in a food processor for 30 seconds, or until smooth. Transfer the egg mixture to a bowl and mix in the raw meat with your hands or a large fork until smoothly blended. Set aside for 30 minutes. With wet hands, shape the mixture into patties or balls.
  • Put the seasoned flour on a piece of parchment paper and dip each ball into it. Shake off any excess flour.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan for 4 minutes, put in the meatballs, and fry steadily until they are a rich brown color on both sides (you may need to do this in batches). Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon, leaving behind any oil in the pan.

Now make the sauce:

  • In the same pan, sauté the onion until golden. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Place the meatballs in a casserole dish or Dutch oven, pour in the sauce, and cover. Either simmer on the stovetop for 30 minutes or bake in a slow oven at 300˚F (150˚C) for 45 minutes.