Simone's Kitchen

A match made in heaven: Albondigas with a twist + Rioja wine

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albondigas with chorizo |

My father in law is coming to dinner tonight so in order to be able to give him some good food, I started cooking a day ahead… Always good, so I can actually take a photo in between also… (and taste the goodies…lol) And because it’s always fun to make several little dishes the plan was to create a tapas feast. Normally I first think about the food, but in this case I started with the wine first. I bought a bottle of Berberana rioja after Tom had extensively tested it last week during a BBQ with our friend Marco, who happens to have Spanish roots. It’s a strong wine, so it needs bold flavors to go along with it.

Albondigas with chorizo-5

So I posted a tweet for some tapas inspiration and I started thinking about pairing this with one of my favorite tapas dishes, albondigas. Now you really don’t need to be a master in the kitchen to make a few little meatballs, but the fun part about Albondigas is that you can use so many flavors in the meat! I had never tried adding bits of cripsy baked chorizo into the meat but I figured it might be delicious. So in terms of being authenticly Spanish in this recipe… Uhm… probably not, as I just mixed and matched with the flavors that I know I like. They’re spicy little fellows so you might want some other more mellow dishes to cool things down. For dinner tonight I have also planned garlic mushrooms, dates with bacon from the oven (thanks for the idea to Claire ) and I got some pretty good ideas from Carla too but unfortunately all cheese based. So will have to wait a bit before attempting those… But I could happily munch on these little meatballs and be happy!

Albondigas with a twist
Servings: 20 balletjes
  • 350 gr ground meat I used half beef, half pork
  • 50 gr chorizo
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground chili
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • handful of parsley chopped
  • 15 gr almond flour
  • 1 can of 400 gr tomato pieces
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 onion chopped in rings
  • 1 tsp ground chili
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  1. Put the meat into a bowl and start by baking the chorizo until the fat comes out and the chorizo becomes crispy. Leave to drain on kitchen paper and put into a processor to blend into smaller bits.
  2. Add to the meat bowl. Add your spices (smoked paprika, garlic, ginger, chili, coriander, the parsley and the egg to the bowl as well and mix everything well. If it is too wet (and mine was) you can add some almond flour or regular breadcrumbs if you want.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a pan and bake your meatballs brown.
  4. In the meantime chop your garlic and onion and heat a larger pan (the balls will go in there as well) and gently cook the onion and garlic until soft. Once that is done, your meatballs will likely be nicely browned so add them to the garlic/onion mix and add the can of tomatoes too. add the ground chili, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for about ten minutes until the meat is cooked. Check for salt and pepper and adjust where needed.

Albondigas with chorizo |


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  1. A great dish, Simone! And I am sure your albondigas pair perfectly with Rioja! I love Rioja wines too.

  2. Love the chorizo twist Simone! great idea! These like delicious 😉

  3. I had never even heard of Albondigas! *bad food blogger* they sound delicious. I need to try these out and buy a bottle of splosh to try them with too of course!

  4. We were at a tapas restaurant last week, and had planned to get the albondigas — but got too full! So never ordered them. Good thing, because even though we were craving them, it’s incentive to make this. 😉 Good stuff — thanks.

  5. This is one of my most favorite recipes. In Tucson, I loved ordering it at my favorite Mexican restaurants. Your addition of chorizo is fabulous! Delicious, Hugs, Terra

  6. i have never heard or even tried albondigas before! definitely inspired to recreate the recipe, they look delicious! thanks for sharing.. you learn something new every day!

  7. Stumbled across this gem from Foodgawker. They are delicious 🙂 And practically made to go with a glass of red wine. I made some a spanish cauliflower/kale dish I also found on Foodgawker to serve on the side and the meatballs were the star. Thanks for sharing!

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