Spanish chorizo sausage packs such a unique flavor – smoky, garlicy, smoked,tangy; it has no comparison.  This is the chorizo from Bilbao, in the northern part of Spain. The Mexican chorizo can’t compare, as the product is soft and raw.  Spanish chorizo is readily available in any market nowadays.  Don’t substitute one for the other; they are both completely different and the results cannot be replicated.


1 LB of ground sirloin – preferably fresh ground by the butcher

2-3 shallots – finely minced

2-3 garlic cloves – finely minced

1 large egg beaten

7-8 oz of Spanish chorizo – minced into very small cubes or in the food processor

1 tsp of Spanish Smoked Sweet Paprika

¼ cup of regular breadcrumbs

½ finely chopped pistachios

½ cup of finely chopped Parsley

1 TBSP of lemon zest

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

Manchego Cheese shavings

Fresh lemon wedges

In a skillet, heat up some olive oil and sweat the shallots, adding the garlic after a few minutes.  Cook on low until shallots are translucent.

Add the beef, the chorizo and all the other ingredients to a large working bowl.  Don’t overmix.  Wet your hands and form the balls into 1″ sized balls.  Place them in a cookie sheet lined with foil and chili for about 1 hour.  Bake for about 20 minutes.


These balls are served without sauce, typically as an appetizer.   Their flavor profile is quite distinctive and they’re juicy and tender out of the oven.  Serve with lemon wedges.

You can make a light tomato sauce if you choose.  Sweat some shallots and garlic, add some ground cumin and toast for about 1 minute.  Add a can of tomato sauce.  Add 1 TSP of sugar, salt and pepper and simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

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