Meatballs with cuttlefish

Serves 4
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This was one of the dishes that I couldn't resist ordering at La Gamba restaurant in Palamos. I love the way that they mix meat and fish in that part of Spain, and if it's not meat and fish,it's usually rabbit and snails. This dish was a little taster and what made me like it even more was that it contained one of my favourite Spanish delicacies, salt cod tripe, which has the most wonderful gelatinous texture. It can be very tricky to get your hands on, so don't worry if you can't get hold of it; it's perfectly OK to just use meatballs and cuttlefish.

1 cuttlefish weighing about 500g, cleaned and washed
2tbsp olive oil
100ml red wine
300ml chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flour for dusting

For the meatballs

250g fatty minced pork
1 small onion, peeled and very finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1tbsp olive oil
1tbsp chopped fennel or dill
50g fresh white breadcrumbs

First, make the meatballs. Gently cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until soft, then leave to cool. Mix the onion mixture with the pork, fennel and breadcrumbs and season. Mould into ball about the size of a 10-pence piece then leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Cut the cuttlefish into rough 2cm squares and chop up the tentacles. Season and fry in the olive oil on a high heat for 2-3 minutes until lightly coloured. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and then add a little more oil to the pan. Dust the meatballs with flour and fry on a high heat for a couple of minutes until lightly coloured.

Wipe the pan, add the red wine and simmer for a couple of minutes until it has almost evaporated, then add the meatballs, cuttlefish and stock. Simmer on a low heat with a lid on for 30-40 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add a little water if the sauce is reducing too much.

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