Albondigas in Spicy Garlic Confit Tomato Sauce

We prepared these smoky, flavorful albondigas in a spicy garlic confit tomato sauce for an Argentine-themed dinner party for the Baltimore Supper Club! These albondigas in spicy tomato sauce are the perfect unique take on meatballs for any holiday dinner party you might be attending this year!

If you can take the time to prepare the homemade garlic confit the morning of, I highly recommend it. The finished product is sweet, tender garlic cloves with a deliciously aromatic oil that can be used with anything!

If you live in Baltimore and want to join the club, visit our Facebook group!


Makes: Approximately 44 meatballs

Cost: $1.67 per serving (Assuming 2 meatballs per guest)

Skill Level: Easy

Time to Make: About 5 hours 15 minutes (4 hours 30 minutes inactive)

Ingredients for Albondigas in Spicy Garlic Confit Tomato Sauce


1 pound ground pork

1 pound ground beef

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

4 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream

1 tablespoon paprika, plus more if desired

1 tablespoon smoked paprika, plus more if desired

2 teaspoons Mexican oregano

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons cayenne powder, more or less to taste

2 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

Canola oil, for frying

Spicy Garlic Confit Tomato Sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 shallots, peeled and minced

3 hot cherry peppers, trimmed and minced

1/4 cup garlic confit, homemade (recipe follows)

1 tablespoon garlic confit oil

1 cup freshly minced parsley

1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted preferably

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper, plus more to taste

Salt, pepper, Mexican oregano, and smoked paprika to taste


Prepare the Garlic Confit (a few hours before preparing the albondigas, preferably):

To prepare the garlic confit, you will need cloves of garlic from 6 heads of garlic, peeled. Transfer the peeled garlic cloves to a saucepan with 2 cups olive oil. Turn the heat on the saucepan to a low simmer for 45 minutes until the garlic cloves are very tender. Let cool.

Transfer the cloves to a large mason jar and pour the cooking oil on top. Seal and transfer to the refrigerator for up to four months.

Prepare the Albondigas:

In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and milk and mix. Allow the breadcrumbs to soften. Add the eggs and all of the seasonings and whisk to combine. Place the pork and beef on top and season generously with salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix all of the ingredients until fully combined. Tip: Fry up 1 teaspoon of the mixture to taste the seasonings before rolling the meatballs.

Roll the albondigas into 2 meatballs. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the albondigas, cooking in batches, until well-browned all over but not cooked through. Transfer the browned meatballs to a crockpot and continue frying until all the albondigas have been browned through.

Prepare the Spicy Tomato Sauce:

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and hot cherry peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes until just beginning to soften.

Add the garlic confit and garlic confit oil and mash the confit garlic cloves into the shallots and peppers. Add the freshly minced parsley and toss to combine.

Pour in the crushed tomatoes and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil and season with crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, Mexican oregano, and smoked paprika to taste. Turn off the heat.

Cook the Albondigas:

Pour the garlic confit tomato sauce over the albondigas and gently toss to coat the meatballs in the sauce in the crockpot. Turn the crockpot to high heat and cook for 2 hours.

Note: You may also simply transfer the browned meatballs to the large pot of sauce and omit cooking these in a crockpot. Simply simmer over low heat for 1 hour on the stovetop.

To Serve:

Garnish the albondigas with more fresh parsley right before serving. If bring to a party, serve with toothpicks or with crusty bread.

You can also serve the albondigas over mashed potatoes, if desired. Enjoy!

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