Lamb Meatballs with Tomato Sauce, Sheep's Milk Cheese and Cucumbers: Albondigas de Cordero

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 50 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Tomato sauce:

1 onion, finely minced

1 clove garlic, minced

10 Roma tomatoes, blanched and peeled, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons roughly chopped basil leaves

1 fresh bay leaf

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


3 pounds lamb breast

1 pound lamb top round

20 grams kosher salt

1/2 cup white bread cubes, crusts discarded, soaked in milk

1/2 cup finely minced onion

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

4 teaspoons freshly chopped oregano leaves

4 teaspoons freshly chopped sage leaves

4 teaspoons freshly chopped parsley leaves

1 egg, beaten

All-purpose flour, for dusting

Vegetable oil, for frying


1 cup fresh sheep's milk ricotta

1 English cucumber, finely chopped


  1. For the sauce: In a large pot, over medium heat, sweat onion, then add garlic and tomato. Cook for 5 minutes. Add sugar, vinegar and remaining ingredients and cook down for 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and run through a food mill. Set aside.
  2. Meatballs: Dice the meat and mix with salt. Grind twice with 1/4-inch dice. Add all other ingredients except egg and paddle in standing mixer for 1 minute. Add the egg and mix to combine.
  3. Form into 1-inch round balls, dust with all-purpose flour. Add a coating of oil to a large skillet, and shallow-fry the meatballs until golden. Cover with tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat. Sprinkle with ricotta and chopped cucumber and serve.