In a frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and sauté the onion until it is soft. Add the tomato, hot pepper, sugar and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring from time to time, until the mixture is thick and quite dry. Let the mixture cool.
In a bowl mix together the beef, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, raisins, nutmeg, and the tomato mixture. Add the eggs, mixing thoroughly. If the mixture is too dry to hold together, add a very little milk. Form into balls, about 5cm (2in) in diameter, and flour them lightly.
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in the frying pan and sauté the meatballs until lightly browned. As they are done, lift them out and set aside.
To make the broth, heat the tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion until it is very soft. Add the stock, wine, thyme, oregano, and bay leaf, and simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavours. Season to taste.
Add the meatballs, cover, and cook over low heat until they are done, about 30 minutes. If necessary cover the meatballs, add more stock and wine in equal amounts. Serve with rice, using the broth as gravy.
Recipe from The Book Of Latin American Cooking, by Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz, published by Grub Street, £14.99.
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