James Whelan Butchers: Spanish Meatballs in a tomato Chorizo sauce

Spanish Meatballs in a Tomato SauceEveryone in our house loves meatballs especially Spanish meatballs! Baking the meatballs in the oven rather than frying them makes this recipe very straightforward and the chorizo elevates the dish from run of the mill to something a little more special with very little extra effort. This is a terrific multi-generational crowd-pleaser; the quantities can be easily doubled for a larger number.


  • 1 kg minced beef
  • 250 g minced free range pork
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • large handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika
  • 100 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • fine sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil or Irish rapeseed oil

for the sauce:

  • 200 g cooking chorizo, stripped from its skin
  • and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4 x 400 g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 125 ml red wine
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • large handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Serves 10


To Cook

Preheat the oven to 220° C/fan 200° C/gas mark 7. Combine the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl, using your hands to ensure that everything is evenly distributed. Form the mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball. You should have around 50 in total. Brush a large roasting tin with a little olive oil and place the meatballs on the tray, then drizzle with a little more olive oil. Bake in the in the oven for about half an hour, shaking the tin from time to time, until the meatballs are evenly browned. If they catch a little and start to caramelise, so much the better. Once the meatballs are in the oven, heat a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the chorizo until browned. The chorizo will release fat as it cooks, so there is no need to add any to the pan. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Add the garlic and let it fry for a couple of minutes until golden. Add the tomatoes, wine and sugar. Season generously and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring from time to time, until it has thickened slightly, which will take about half an hour. Add the chorizo and the fat that it has released during cooking to the tomato sauce and stir. Add the parsley and check the seasoning. Add the cooked meatballs to the pan and coat themwith the sauce. Serve with rice, herbed couscous or cubed roast potatoes, and a green salad.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment