Spanish Meatballs


Do this ahead of time and serve as a lazy, light lunch with some salad and the Catalan tomato bread.


  • 2 thick slices stale bread
  • 125 ml milk
  • 500 g minced lamb or beef
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 free-range egg
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • ½ sweet green pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 800 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 12 green Spanish olives
  • 3 tbsp dry sherry
  • 250 ml chicken stock


Trim off the crusts and soak the bread in the milk for 5 minutes, then squeeze dry. Using your hands, mix the bread with the meat, garlic, nutmeg, parsley, egg, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into small balls, the size of a walnut, and roll in the flour.

Chop the onion. Cut the green pepper into strips, discarding the seeds.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based fry pan, and cook the meatballs in batches until well browned on all sides. Remove and add a little extra oil to the pan. Add the onion and green pepper and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Return the meatballs to the pan, and add the chopped tomatoes, green olives, salt, pepper, sherry and stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened to a sludge. Serve hot.