Flavour Spotlight on Albondigas in Baharat Spiced Tomato Sauce

August 11th 2017

Flavour Spotlight on Albondigas in Baharat Spiced Tomato Sauce

It is believed that the recipe for Albondigas came to Spain from the Middle East over 1,000 years ago. If that’s the case, Baharat is the perfect spice blend for these incredibly flavourful meatballs. Excellent as a main course or an appetizer, the exotic array of seasonings brings the taste of the East to Western tables. 

Prep time: 35 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Yield: 6 main course servings or 12 appetizer servings

Baharat recipe here

All You Need

For the Albondigas:

1 lb (454 g) lean ground beef

½ lb (227 g) ground pork

1 cup (33 g) flat leaf parsley, packed, plus extra for garnish

½ cup (65 g) roughly chopped white onion

3 large garlic cloves

2 large eggs

½ cup (50 g) finely grated Manchego or Parmesan cheese

⅓ cup (55 g) fresh breadcrumbs

¼ cup (60 ml) milk

2 tsp (1 g) McCormick Gourmet Thyme Leaves

2 tsp (1 g) McCormick Gourmet Oregano Leaves

¾ tsp (4 g) Club House Sea Salt Grinder

½ tsp (2 g) Club House Ground Black Pepper

For the Tomato Sauce:

3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

1 cup (140 g) finely diced onion

2 tbsp + 2 tsp (42 g +14 g) Baharat, divided

½ tsp (1 g) Club House Red Chili Flakes

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 Club House Bay Leaf

1 28 fl. oz (796 ml) can diced plum tomatoes

1 cup (240 ml) Kitchen Basics Chicken or Vegetable Stock

2 tsp (8 g) granulated sugar

½ tsp (3 g) Club House Sea Salt


For the Albondigas:

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the parsley, onion, and garlicuntil finely chopped. Add the eggs, breadcrumbs, milk, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper and process to a rough paste. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add the beef, pork, and cheese and mix with hands or a wooden spoon until combined, taking care not to over mix. Using slightly dampened hands, form meatball mixture into 1 ½ inch (4 centimetre) balls and place on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch (2.5 centimetres) apart. Depending on the size of the baking sheet a second sheet may be needed. Cover meatballs loosely with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while making the Baharat tomato sauce.

For the Baharat Tomato Sauce:

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to soften, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of Baharat, and red chilli flakes; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in the bay leaf, tomatoes, stock, and sugar. Allow sauce to come to a boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the sauce is simmering, preheat oven to 400 F (200 C) and set oven rack in the middle of the oven. Bake the meatballs for 10 minutes, then turn the broiler on high and broil for 5 to 7 minutes, or until meatballs are browned on top. Remove meatballs and transfer with a slotted spoon to the simmering tomato sauce. Simmer meatballs in sauce for a further 15 minutes.

Gently stir in remaining 2 tsp (14 g) of Baharat and taste for seasoning.

Serve warm, garnished with fresh parsley.

Chef’s Note:

*Transfer remaining Baharat to a lidded glass jar and store in a cool, dark place. Use it to flavour soups, stews and sauces, or as a rub for grilled meats and vegetables.