Monday’s With Mami – Papas Con Albondigas

Posted · 23 Comments

This dish has always been a favorite of my sisters and I.  The smell of homemade meatballs and the slow simmer of sherry wine brings me back to Espana!  Small cobblestone streets lined with clad iron balconies filled with beautiful terra cotta pots of multi colored geraniums.  Can you tell my heart and mind is set upon my trip to Spain which is only 5 short weeks away!  I can’t wait to smell the beautiful Spanish air! Back to my dish, lol!  This is a wonderful, easy to make dish especially for this time of year.  Not quite cold enough for a stew and not quite warm enough for a backyard bbq.  It’s also a great way to use up those storage potatoes as Spring time and green veggies are near!

In order to capture the best flavors of this dish I recommend to use a good dry (fino) sherry wine, preferably from Spain.  You will find complete differences in flavor when using an ordinary sherry and one from the Andalusian region of Spain.  Manzanilla. The brand I buy here in Iowa, is Pedro Romero, a pale dry sherry, fino.  If you are from Iowa, it can be found at Gateway Market under dessert wines.

Papas Con Albondigas


  • 5 large potatoes chopped
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, pressed or diced
  • 2tbl fresh parsley, cut into small pieces
  • 1 farm fresh egg
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1 cup sherry wine
  • pinch of saffron threads (optional)
  • 1-2 tbls arrowroot powder to thicken (cornstarch or flour will work fine)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • EVOO
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Begin by making the meatballs.  In a large bowl mix the ground beef, onion, garlic, parsley, egg, breadcrumbs, and 1tsp salt.
  2. Form into 2″ meatballs.
  3. In a large dutch oven (I used my cast iron) warm 1/4 cup (or so) of extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Brown the meatballs on all sides.
  5. Once the meatballs are browned, add 1 cup of sherry wine. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Once the meatballs have simmered in the wine for 20 minutes, add the potatoes and enough water to cover.
  7. Add a dash of saffron threads for color (optional), arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) to thicken, 2 bay leaves and salt/pepper to taste.
  8. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

This dish is wonderful with crusty bread and a nice green salad.

Buen Provecho!

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23 Responses to "Monday’s With Mami – Papas Con Albondigas"
  1. Divina Pe says:

    What a hearty and wholesome dish. I just had some meatballs for lunch. It was a leftover sauce for the pasta and I decided to eat it with rice. I love the flavors on your dish and color is so vibrant and inviting.

  2. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Oh – these colors are gorgeous! I can almost smell this. Hungry.

  3. Yoli says:

    I love this dish. my mom used to give me always a meatball after they were browned…crunchy in the oustside and soft and warm in the inside…yum! I really love your blog,I grow up in Spain myself and your blog is like a little bit of home away from home. Thanks!

  4. 5 Star Foodie says:

    This dish sounds so satisfying and comforting, just perfect for a rainy day today!

  5. Gabe Bauman says:

    It's soooooo good.

  6. Ruth says:

    What flavours. Love that broth and the meatballs, so juicy!! Really making me miss Spain too! You will love every second of it, I know!

  7. bridget {bake at 350} says:

    I can feel that comfort food right through the screen! Yum, Diana! It looks delicious!

  8. Joan Nova says:

    Love Mami's recipes. Nice change from meatballs + spaghetti.

  9. Miranda says:

    SAVED! Saved! SAVED!!!!

  10. juliecache says:

    I LOVE albondigas and have made them only a couple times. You're making me hungry.

  11. Fuji Mama says:

    Your albondigas looks better than any I've had before! Plus, it looks easy and totally not intimidating. You've totally made me hungry, even though it's midnight here!

  12. knownbyname says:

    You get to go to Spain?! I've been missing Spain so much lately – gosh… it's been over a year – I never go this long without a trip! Have a WONDERFUL time – eat some roast lamb for me, oh, and some beautiful iberian ham, and lots and lots of wonderful cheese, okay – just eat lots and tell me all about it! :)

    The abondigas look fabo – I've got one kid who LOVES them – I'm thinking I'm going to have to make this for him!

    Blessings, friend!

  13. momgateway says:

    I find your Mondays with Mami so enjoyable. You are so lucky you get to spend time with your charming Mami and her comfort food!

  14. Erica says:

    I love albondigas! This looks comforting and delicious.

  15. Betsy Lopez says:

    I dont know if you have a book with all your recipes but sería fantástico si lo hicieras. :)

  16. Jen says:

    Hi Diana,
    This recipe looks great, I’d like to make it but, I only have dry Marsala in the house right now, do you think I could substitute the sherry with Marsala or should I hold off until I get the chance to pick up sherry. Thanks, Jennifer

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Jen, you know, the flavor of the sherry fino is what makes this recipe; however, maybe a marsala will take it to another level! I think that’s up to you ;D Let us know if you do try it with the Marsala :)

      • Jen says:

        Diana, I tried the recipe with the Marsala I had on hand which happened to de a dry Marsala, very similar in taste to a sherry or Madeira wine. This came out absolutely amazing, the whole family loved it and I will definitely be making this again. Next time I will try it with the sherry. Thank you for such a great recipe. Jen

  17. Karen Shervheim says:

    HI Diana, Can you tell me exactly what your bottle of sherry says on it? I am completely sherry illiterate and when I looked at the varieties of sherry from Pedro Romero, there are several and I don’t know which to get? Thanks and blessings! Karen :)

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Kerry, The bottle of Sherry that I used from Pedro Romero says Manzanilla on the bottle. As of now, I’m using a Sherry Fino from Trader Joes. It’s from Spain and tastes lovely!!

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