Vibrant Spain

A Traditional Crowd-Pleaser

Albondingas (Spanish meatballs)

These albondigas are made with beef and pork mince and served in a quick, rich tomato sauce. Bite sized, full of flavour and the perfect addition to your Spanish Christmas table.


·       1 lb. (500 g) ground beef

·       1 lb. (500 g) ground pork

·       1/2 cup dried bread crumbs

·       3 eggs

·       1 tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

·       4 garlic cloves, minced

·       1 tbs. plus1 tsp. smoked paprika

·       Salt and freshly ground pepper

·       2 tbs. olive oil

·       1 yellow onion, finely chopped

·       1 tsp. anchovy paste

·       1 tsp. sugar

·       1/4 cup sherry vinegar

·       1 can crushed tomatoes


1. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. In a large bowl combine the beef, pork, bread crumbs, eggs, parsley, half of the garlic and 1 tsp. of the paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix gently but thoroughly. Form the mixture into meatballs about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) in diameter.

3. In a large pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil.

4. Working in batches to avoid crowding, sear the meatballs, turning occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides, about 3 minutes per batch. Gently transfer the meatballs to a platter and set aside.

5. Add the remaining 1 tbs. olive oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more. Stir in the remaining 1 tbs. paprika, the anchovy paste and sugar. Add the vinegar to deglaze the pan.

6. Stir and scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil.

7. Return the meatballs to the pan with the tomato sauce. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook, uncovered, until the meatballs are firm and cooked through - 45 to 50 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.