Meat, Recipes

Recipe: Chorizo and beef meatballs

I seem to have been on a bit of a meatball kick recently.  I made a bunch of turkey meatballs and filled my freezer with them, and just as I was beginning to finish off the last batch I was itching to try out another version.  Because it’s more economic to keep your freezer full, right?

This time round I wanted to make something a little different.  Usually when I make meatballs I add breadcrumbs to make them a little softer, but this time round I wanted to make something that was dense and meaty, with a sauce which was packed full of flavour.  As I tend to freeze most of what I make, I wanted something with some big flavours which would improve with time.


Spanish beer brand Alhambra were nice enough to send over a case of their beer so I figured I’d use it as inspiration.  If you want to try it yourself, I’ve spotted it on sale in a few places in Brum, most notably Amantia on Bennetts Hill – or check the competition at the end of the post.

Alhambra Reserva 1925, named after a palace in its home town of Granada, is a Spanish lager with 6.40% abv, making it fairly strong compared to most typical lagers.  It’s best served cold, a sort of bittersweet drink, with plenty of history so I wanted to create a tapas recipe which would use traditional Spanish flavours like smoked paprika in chorizo and sherry.  And so, chorizo and beef meatballs is what happened…

Chorizo and beef meatballs
Recipe type: Tapas, Dinner
Cuisine: Spanish
Serves: 30 meatballs
  • 500g beef mince, 5% fat
  • 225g chorizo sausage, deskinned
  • 1 red onion
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 500g passata
  • 500g passata with onion and garlic
  • 3tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 1tsp salt
For the meatballs
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 200c
  2. Chop up the onion finely (I used a mini food processor), keep half for the sauce
  3. Peel and de-skin the chorizo and cut into small pieces - I chucked this in my mini-food processor to make things quicker
  4. Add the onion and chopped chorizo into a bowl with the minced beef and mix together well
  5. Shape the mixture into small balls - I made them so they fit in the palm of my hand and this made about thirty meatballs.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes
For the sauce
  1. Chop the garlic finely and add to a large pan along with the onion and a splash of oil. Cook on a medium heat until softened.
  2. Add both sets of passata, along with the sherry vinegar, salt and sugar and bring to a boil.
  3. Simmer on a medium heat to reduce the sauce - I cooked mine for about 40 minutes but you can change this depending on how you like your sauce


You could win a heritage set of Alhambra Reserva 1925 beer for yourself.  All you have to do is answer this: What would be your perfect tapa for pairing with Alhambra Reserva 1925? Comment below and you could win a heritage set of Alhambra Reserva 1925 beer to enjoy with your own tapa creations!  The competition will end at midnight on the 15 November 2015 and the Alhambra team will choose the winner and send them the prize.


Disclosure: I was sent a case of Alhambra Reserva 1925 for the purposes of this post…which I’m sure is some people’s idea of heaven.  The competition is being run on behalf of Alhambra; there is no cash alternative and my only responsibility is to pass on the name and email address of the winner.  Oh and you must be 18 or over to enter.

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  • Reply Bettina Bernard

    My perfect pairing tapas with Alhambra Reserva 1925 is:

    Costillas Asadas (Spanish spare ribs from the grill).

    November 3, 2015 at 7:46 am
  • Reply Chloe

    My perfect pairing would have to be Calamari. Sweet, succulent, hot and crispy squid with a really cold beer takes me back to Barcelona everytime!

    November 3, 2015 at 1:48 pm
  • Reply Lyndsey

    Hmmm. Figs stuffed with manchego, wrapped in Iberico ham then baked. I had it once at Byzantium and have been obsessed ever since! Would be a great dish to try out in my new oven (when it arrives!) and a perfectly paired beer or two to celebrate the new kitchen would be fab!

    November 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm
    • Reply Laura

      That sounds delicious! Best of luck with your new kitchen 🙂

      November 3, 2015 at 2:04 pm
  • Reply Scot Johnston

    I would slow cook some pork using the beer to really bring out the flavour and then enjoy it with a couple more bottles while I was waiting.

    November 3, 2015 at 2:43 pm
  • Reply Martin

    It has to be Chiperones – baby fried squid with a lemon wedge to dress, nothing simpler or more tastŷ!

    November 3, 2015 at 7:50 pm
  • Reply conny

    Definitely with my favourite tapas dsh; Gambas Pil Pil

    November 3, 2015 at 10:18 pm
  • Reply Deb Hodgkiss

    My favorite has to be Chorizo a la Miel. They’re mini chorizo’s with a honey type sauce. Amazingly moreish and perfect with a very tasty beer like Alhambra Reserva 1925… the caramel notes in the beer would go perfectly!

    November 4, 2015 at 6:25 pm
  • Reply Andrew Stone

    A premium craft Spanish beer needs a premium Spanish tapas to truly compliment it. Chicken Livers sautéed in red wine with some Chorizo Iberico, red bell peppers and a little seasoning would provide both subtle yet powerful flavours and textures to work with full flavours and caramel aromas of the Alhambra Reserva 1925.

    November 5, 2015 at 8:58 pm
  • Reply Leanne Lunn

    It has to be spicy calamari for the perfect pairing 🙂

    November 5, 2015 at 10:08 pm
  • Reply Kim Styles

    deep fried rabbit with smoky chorizo and tomato salsa

    November 7, 2015 at 8:40 pm
  • Reply Claire Rowlands

    For me it would be Braised Pig Cheeks, Hazelnuts, Apple & Potato Purée. And really good bread.

    November 10, 2015 at 10:35 am
  • Reply Fiona Lockyer

    I tried a particularly nice rich venison & smoked garlic samosa recently – thinking this could stand up to Alhambra Reserva with bells on!

    November 15, 2015 at 2:07 pm
  • Reply Niall

    Sweet potato fries, salted and a scattering of dried chillies

    November 15, 2015 at 10:42 pm
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