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Albondigas (Spanish Meatballs with Beef, Pork & Ham)

Albondigas (Spanish Meatballs with Beef, Pork & Ham)


  • ½ lb. ground beef

  • ½ lb. ground pork

  • 4 slices Serrano ham, finely chopped

  • 2 slices good-quality white bread, crusts trimmed and bread doused with milk to soften

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • A small handful (about 1/4 cup) of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp. (1/3 palmful) sweet paprika

  • ½ tsp. hot paprika or crushed red pepper

  • ½ tsp. ground cumin

  • A fat drizzle of olive oil, plus 2 tbsp. for the sauce

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes

  • 1 cup white wine or chicken stock


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Step 2

    In a large bowl, place the beef, pork, and ham. Squeeze out the excess milk from the bread and crumble it over the meat. Mix half of the onion, half of the parsley, half of the garlic, half of the spices, and a fat drizzle of oil into the meat mixture. Roll into golf-ball-size meatballs. Place on the baking sheet. Roast until cooked through and lightly crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat 2 tbsp. oil, two turns of the pan, over medium. Add the bay leaf and the remaining onion, parsley, garlic, and spices; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and wine and let the sauce simmer to reduce the sauce a bit while the meatballs cook.

  • Step 4

    Coat the meatballs in the sauce in the skillet.