September 21, 2018

The meatball is available on pretty much every tapas menu in Spain, but the quality varies enormously – this version is one we enjoyed in Jerez de la Frontera, and is different first because the size of the meatball is, well, big, and second because it is just totally delicious. It is hearty enough to be served as a main course with a few chips, if you allow two meatballs a head, but of course it is also great as part of a tapas spread. The two elements (meatball and sauce) can be prepared ahead of time and then reheated either in a pan or in the oven (better, but be careful the dish doesn’t dry out) when it is time to eat. The smoked paprika is the key player in making this sauce truly delicious.


1Pour the milk on the bread and let it soak up, before adding the other meatball ingredients and mixing thoroughly.

2Form into 8 large balls.

3Heat some olive oil in a heavy frying pan and gently brown the meatballs allover, then remove and put to one side.

4Add a little more oil to the pan and add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic, then saute for 10 minutes.

5Add the wine, and turn the heat up so the wine boils vigorously – this removes the alcohol.

6Turn the heat back down and add the seasonings and the tin of tomatoes, then bring to a simmer.

7Add back the meatballs and cook on a gentle simmer for 20 minutes.


for the meatballs

2 slices of white bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces

3tbs milk

200g minced beef

200g minced pork

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 egg

1tsp smoked paprika

1tsp ground cumin

handful of chopped flatleaf parsley or dried parsley

for the sauce;

1 onion, finely chopped

1 large carrot, grated

1 stick celery, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2tsp Tomato powder

2tsp Wild Herbs

½ glass red wine

1 tsp smoked paprika