Albóndigas en salsa (Meatballs in sauce)

From Cookipedia

A traditional recipe from Castilla-La Mancha, which is found in tapas bars all over Spain.

Albóndigas en salsa (Meatballs in sauce)
Albóndigas en salsa
Servings:Serves 4
Calories per serving:549
Ready in:3 hours 15 minutes
Prep. time:2 hours 15 minutes
Cook time:1 hour
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:JuliaBalbilla
First published:24th October 2012

Best recipe review

Wow, Julia...

4/5 that's a proper meat-mincer.


Mincing the meat

For the meatballs:


Printable 🖨 shopping 🛒 list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe


  1. Mix the mince, breadcrumbs, garlic, oregano and beaten egg together, using your hands to ensure even distribution of the ingredients.
  2. Divide the mixture in to 16 and shape into smallish balls. (Each one should weigh around 40 g).
  3. Shake some flour on a plate and dredge each ball so that it is lightly coated in flour.
  4. Arrange them on a plate so that they are not touching and leave them to firm up in the fridge for an hour or two.
  5. Heat some oil in a large frying pan until it is almost smoking.
  6. Add the balls to the pan and lower heat immediately. If your hob is electric, I would suggest that you remove the pan from the heat source until the hob ring has cooled a little.
  7. Brown the meatballs, turning them with tongs regularly so that the colour is even.
  8. Once browned on the outside, transfer the balls into a largish saucepan and reserve.
  9. Using the same frying pan and oil in which the meatballs were browned, fry the onions and garlic for the sauce.
  10. Once golden, add the flour and allow to cook slowly for 4-5 minutes.
  11. Add the sherry, wine, hot beef stock and saffron and stir in a figure of eight to make sure that there are no lumps.
  12. Once heated through, pour the sauce over the meatballs in the saucepan and simmer (uncovered) gently for about 45 minutes. If the sauce thickens too much, add some hot water to achieve the desired consistency.

Serving suggestions

On their own as a tapa or snack, or accompanied by steamed vegetables.


You can vary the type of alcohol used, for example substitute the sherry for Spanish brandy or the red wine for white. Just try to keep it Spanish!

You can use hot smoked paprika instead of saffron, for a spicer version and you can vary the quantities of garlic and onion. I used a whole bulb of garlic each for the meatballs and the sauce, but there were complaints that it wasn't garlicky enough!

Chef's notes

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#garlic #flour #saffron #breadcrumbs #sauce #egg #redwine #onion #beefstock #sherry #boiledorsimmered