Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mami’s Cooking: Caldo De Albondigas Recipe

I’m not much of a cook. I have gotten better over the years, but it took me several ruined meals to get to where I am at right now. Sadly, I never picked up on my mom’s cooking skills. She’s an amazing cook and she always makes everything look so simple. I still lack some skills, but I‘m always willing to try anything. So, I’ve begged my mom to give me a few lessons on how to make meals that I remember her cooking for me when I was little, but it needs to be easy to make and even easier to remember.
I’m going to start documenting these moments and sharing these recipes with you to share with your family. Sure, you can pull these up anywhere online. There might even be better recipes out there, but this is my mommas cooking. You’re free to take out or put in anything that you’d like. Personalize it. That’s what makes a meal memorable. Just making it from the heart makes it taste good. Ever seen Kung Foo Panda? LOL. “The secret ingredient is “nothing”. It’s YOU that makes it taste better.
I’m going to try to explain these recipes as best as I can for you because the thing about my mom’s cooking is that it’s not measured in spoons or cups. She just throws stuff in and when I ask her how much she put in she just says, “Put in what you think, just don’t overdo it.” I need measurements! I’m a visual learner as well so I hope these pictures help you too. Today, I'm going to attempt to show you how to make Caldo De Albondigas a.k.a Meatball Soup...

Ingredients For The Soup:
  • beef shank, with bone- You can use the bone if you’re not using beef stock or you can use both. A bone is optional as the meatballs will create their own stock. (Optional)
  • 1 Garlic- You can also use a few peeled garlic cloves to boil in with your bone. (Optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro.
  • 1 onion, chopped/sliced.
  • 2 celery stocks sliced into 2 inch pieces.
  • 1 Chopped Tomato- you throw It In along with the broth. (Optional)
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes.
  • 6 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 quarts of water- Or ½ beef stock and ½ water as the meatballs will create their own stock. You may also have to add more water if the pot is not full after placing all the veggies and meatballs inside.
  • 4 ears of corn .
  • 4 baking potatoes, like russets, unpeeled.
  • 2 squash, zucchini may be substituted (I personally don’t like squash so I only put one squash in) .
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, crumbled.
  • Salt to taste. Add salt to your soup. Just be careful about adding too much. Don’t forget the meatballs and broth will have salt in them too.

Ingredients for the Meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground beef.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste.
  • 1 raw egg.
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, crumbled.
  • 1/3 cup of uncooked white rice
  • 1 teaspoon of dried mint, crumbled.
  • ½ cup onion, chopped/minced.
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pepper
Note: I’d probably make the meatballs first before starting the soup and just place them in the fridge until you are ready to put them into the soup.

Making the soup: First, add the water and/or broth with salt, stewed tomatoes, celery, onion, and bone into your pot and boil.
Once it starts boiling, you place the carrots, potatoes, corn, and cilantro in the pot.
Wait about two minutes and put in your squash and oregano. If you use zucchini, keep the pieces bigger. They will cook faster than squash.
Maintain a light boil.
How To Make the Meatballs: In a large mixing bowl, place the ground beef, minced onions, 1 raw egg, uncooked rice, pepper, mint, oregano, and salt together. Realistically, with all the herbs and seasoning that you’re using. You can add as much as you want to your taste. My measurements are not accurate. They are just guideline for you to follow. Try tasting your ground beef before you start making your meatballs to see if it needs more or less of something. You might find that it needs more pepper, oregano, and/or salt.

Get your hands dirty and just start mixing everything together.
Once everything is thoroughly mixed. Start making your meatballs!
Once you’re done, gently place the meatballs in the soup one at a time. You don’t want them to fall apart as you place them in the water. Your pot should have a light boil to it.
Add water (if it needs more) to cover the vegetables and meatballs and bring the mixture to a boil.

Place the lid back onto your pot, make it a light to medium boil,  and wait until everything is cooked all the way through. If you’re unsure that it's ready, cut a meatball in half to see if it’s cooked all the way, and make sure the potatoes are cooked all the way through as well. `
When it's ready, garnish your bowl of soup with a squeeze of lemon or lime. We also make cooked rice on the side and add a scoop into our bowl before pouring the soup into the bowl. YUM! I’m drooling right now…
I’m excited about doing this because it’ll be something I can go back to when I want to make something that my mom taught me how to make. SIGH. It’s special to me…Buen Apetito!

Do you have special recipes of meals that your parents used to make? What's your favorite meal that you remember when you were little?


  1. Oooh I love this feature. My mom is a great cook and i'm useless in the kitchen. Can't wait to see more. Very sweet idea.

  2. looks yummie, I want to try it. Only cooking for me and Crystal now but we have some family coming soon so I will try it then.
    Thanks Liz