Great Spanish Cookbook: Smoky Albondigas Spanish Meatballs

Smoky Albondigas Spanish meatballs are a traditional tapas dish that is served as a small portion snack with a drink or alongside other dishes. Alternatively why not make a larger portion and serve as a hearty meal that’s perfect for the colder winter months.

Albóndigas are thought to have originated as a Berber or Arab dish imported to Spain during the period of Muslim rule.

Here’s how to make Smoky Albondigas Spanish meatballs:

Ingredients List

To make the meatballs:

  • 4 crustless slices white bread, torn into small pieces
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 400g beef mince
  • 400g pork mince
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • a small bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 small egg
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • olive oil

 To make the tomato sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 200ml red wine
  • 2 × 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • a good pinch smoked paprika

 Cooking Method

  • Place the torn bread pieces in a large bowl, cover in milk and mix until soaked through.
  • Add the mince, garlic, parsley, egg, smoked paprika and lots of seasoning to the bowl. Mix using clean and hands and then roll into meatballs – this mixture should make around 32 balls.
  • Put oil in a wide and shallow saucepan and heat. When the oil is sizzling add the meatballs to brown. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of the pan.
  • Add the sliced garlic and sizzle for a couple of minutes. Tip in the wine and boil until it is reduced.
  • Add the tomatoes and smoked paprika to this mixture and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Re-add the meatballs and cook for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste and then serve.

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