Lamb Chorizo Albóndigas with Tomato Chutney

Marissa Gerlach

Raya Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna NiguelDana Point, CA

Albóndiga is the Spanish word for meatballs. These, made with lamb and bacon, are served with a bold and spicy tomato chutney.


Lamb Chorizo:
  • 3/4 pound thick-cut sliced bacon, cut into large pieces
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons abodo paste (such as Doña Maria brand)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Lamb Albóndigas:
  • 2 pounds (4 heaping cups) lamb chorizo
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups panko
Tomato Chutney:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 shallots, sliced thinly
  • 2 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes peeled, deseeded, and diced
  • 1 cup finely diced summer squash
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Mint leaves for serving


To make the lamb chorizo, place the bacon in a food processor and process until completely ground. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and mix until just combined. Heat a heavy pan over medium heat and cook a tablespoon of the chorizo until browned. Taste and add more salt to the raw mixture if desired. Refrigerate until needed.

To make the tomato chutney, heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until golden, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the tomatoes, summer squash, sugar, and white vinegar. Cook for 35 to 45 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down and only a little moisture remains in the pot. Stir in the black pepper and chipotle powder. Season with salt to taste. Cover and keep warm until needed.

To make the meatballs, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Combine the lamb chorizo, eggs, and panko crumbs in a large mixing bowl and mix until just combined. Roll the chorizo into 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium heat. Working in batches, sear the meatballs on all sides, 2 minutes per side. Transfer the seared meatballs to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake the meatballs for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve family style with some tomato chutney and mint leaves on the side.


About 2 dozen meatballs