Argentinian Meat Balls a.k.a. Albondigas


Juicy herby flavoured beefy golf balls.

This recipe is based on one published decades ago by Oxfam who even then were supporting the indigenous indians living in northern Argentina and southern Paraguay. This is a main course dish which serves 4, but can be stretched by addition of further vegetable dishes or side dishes.

Credit is due to the Cambridge University Fairtrade Cookbook Fanclub for improvements to this recipe.


For the meatballs
slices of bread
90 ml
medium onions
cloves garlic
20 ml
Zaytoun FAIRTRADE olive oil
500 gm
minced beef
50 g
grated cheese (parmesan works well)
15 g
15 ml
mixed herbs
to taste
salt and pepper
hens eggs
50 g
plain flour
For the Sauce
stock cube
100 ml
FAIRTRADE red wine
medium carrots
25 ml
Zaytoun FAIRTRADE olive oil
medium onion
400 ml can
chopped tomatoes
a sprinkling
dried thyme or parsley


Preparation and cooking: the meatballs

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5 (190 °C; 375 °F).

Put the bread and milk into a mixing bowl and break up the bread with your hands.

De-skin the onion, and garlic if used, and chop both very fine.

Gently fry the onions and garlic until translucent (about 5 minutes).

Add the onions to the mixing bowl with the minced beef, the cheese, the chutney and the herbs. Grate in the nutmeg and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl and add to the meat mixture. Mix well with your hands.

Take a handful of mixture, squeeze it together with your hands and roll it into a golf ball sized sphhere. Coat with flour.

Repeat for the remaining mixture and place the meatballs in to a greased baking dish.

Preparation and cooking: the sauce

Dissolve the stock cube in the red wine.

Peel the carrots and slice finely.

Start the carrots frying, gently, in a saucepan.

Skin the onion and chop small. Add to the carrots.

Fry for a few minutes until the onions start to go translucent, and then add the tomatoes, herbs, wine and seasoning.

Heat through to mingle the flavours.

Pour the sauce over the meatballs and cook in the oven, uncovered, at gas mark 5 (190 °C; 375 °F) for 40 minutes.

To serve

Serve hot from the casserole dish with FAIRTRADE plain rice or boiled FAIRTRADE potatoes.


Quantities are not critical as long as the meatball mixture is not too wet before adding the eggs.