Nutrient Rich Food for a Healthy and Happy Lifestyle

The Conscientious Cook

Buffalo Spanish Meatballs with Rich Tomato, Red Wine and Oregano Sauce

A touch of tapas was in order the other night when I was asked to ‘bring a dish’ to a girlie get together. These take a little time but they taste so good you’ll be chuffed you made the effort. This recipe made enough for 6 of us ladies plus my two boys and the ‘hubster’ so they didn’t starve while I was out!



2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp coriander

1 clove

900g buffalo mince (you can of course use beef)

2 tsp grated nutmeg

2 tsp ground cinnamon

5 cloves of garlic, grated

6 Medjool dates chopped

1 red chilli, seeded and chopped

2 eggs

Tomato Sauce

2 tsp cumin seeds

4 red onions, diced

8 cloves of garlic, grated

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp smoked paprika

200ml red wine

800g fresh tomatoes, chopped (alternatively use 4 cans of tomatoes)

4 dried bay leaves

8 sprigs oregano

2 tbsp maple syrup


Make the meatballs first. Dry fry the cumin, coriander seeds and clove in a frying pan until you can smell the fabulous aroma waftying up from the pan.

Pound to a powder using a pestle and mortar.

Put the mince, toasted spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic, dates, chilli and eggs into the food processor with 2 tsp sea salt and process until smooth. Cover and place in the fridge before shaping, about 30mins

To make the tomato sauce, toast the cumin seeds in the same frying pan until they smell and then pound in pestle and mortar

In the same frying pan, heat 2 tbsp coconut oil and add onions, cooking until translucent

Add garlic, cumin, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp ground black pepper, paprika and cook for a few minutes to release the flavour.

Add the red wine and cook until thick paste, about 2 mins

Add the tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer for 30-40 mins, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick on the bottom     

While the sauce is cooking make the meatballs, rolling into 2 inch balls, replace back into the fridge until sauce is cooked

Check sauce, add the oregano and the maple syrup, taste and add more syrup and seasoning if required

Remove meatballs from the fridge and add them to the sauce. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until they are cooked through. If the sauce reduces too much add water, but it should be lovely and thick and rich.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve with quinoa or bread to mop up the juices.