Spanish Meatballs

Preparation Time: 30 minutes, plus making the tomato sauce (optional)
Cooking Time: 4 hours on LOW, plus 15 minutes on HIGH


  • 40 g/ oz/¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 250 g/9 oz lean minced beef
  • 250 g/9 oz lean minced pork
  • 55 g/2 oz/½ cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 4 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp plain white flour, for dusting, plus extra if needed
  • 1 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil, plus extra if needed
  • 280 g/10 oz/heaped cups frozen peas, defrosted
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • cooked short-grain white rice, to serve


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 350 g/12 oz cooking chorizo, skinned and diced
  • 600 ml/21 fl oz/scant cups Easy Tomato Sauce, bottled tomato sauce or passata


To make the meatballs, put the pine nuts, beef, pork, breadcrumbs, garlic, eggs, parsley and cinnamon in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Combine the ingredients, using wet hands, making sure the pine nuts and parsley are evenly distributed. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions, then roll each half into 10 balls. Transfer the meatballs to a floured plate.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, add the meatballs and fry for 3–5 minutes, until browned all over, working in batches and adding extra oil, if necessary. Transfer the meatballs to the slow cooker.

To make the sauce, pour off any excess fat from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Add the onion and fry, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and chorizo and fry for a further 1–3 minutes until the onion is softened. Add the tomato sauce and bring to the boil, scraping the bottom of the pan, then pour the mixture into the cooker.

Cover the cooker and cook on LOW for 4 hours. Test the meatballs are cooked through by cutting one in half. Return the meatball to the cooker and add the peas. Switch the cooker to HIGH, re-cover and cook for 15 minutes until the peas are tender. Add a little more salt and pepper, if you like. Serve the meatballs and sauce spooned over rice.