Chorizo: Versatile and delicious

The smoky, spicy, snap of chorizo sausage flavours these scrumptious and versatile little pork balls.

Sometimes I make them golf-ball size and serve them over a tomato and cannellini bean sauce as a main course.

They are also delicious served as a pre-dinner nibble. I make the pork balls smaller, about the size of large marbles and serve them hot or at room temperature with a dipping sauce.

Baking meatballs in the oven is so easy; no extra oil is needed, no tending required and they are all ready at the same time.


Smoky chorizo and pork balls

Photo by Gregor Richardson.
Photo by Gregor Richardson.

1 small onion, quartered
100g cured chorizo sausage (about 2), roughly chopped
30g sundried tomatoes in oil, well-drained and halved
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp each soy sauce and red wine vinegar
½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
50g day-old breadcrumbs
600g trim pork mince 


Preheat the oven to 200degC.

Line a roasting dish or lipped oven tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the onion in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add the chorizo and sundried tomatoes and process until finely chopped but not minced. Add tomato paste, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, sweet smoked paprika and breadcrumbs and process until blended.

Add the pork mince and pulse 2 or 3 times. This will only partially combine the pork mince but more processing results in a texture resembling sausage meat.

Tip the mixture into a bowl and mix well with a fork. However, the mixing is done most easily with your hands.

With wet hands, form the mixture into balls about the size of golf balls. Makes about 26 pork balls.

Arrange on a baking tray, not touching and bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes until lightly golden. Serve over tomato and cannellini bean sauce as a main course.

To make miniature pork balls, take spoonsful of the mixture and shape into balls about the size of large marbles. Arrange on the baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes until sizzling and golden.

Serve with chilli lemon dipping sauce.


Tomato and cannellini bean sauce
Serves 5-6


1Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp prepared chilli from a jar
2 tsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
½ cup red wine
400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
salt to taste
2 Tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley to serve


Heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan, add the onion and garlic. Stir, cover with lid and cook over very low heat until soft. Stir in the cinnamon, chilli and brown sugar and cook for a minute.

Add the basil, tomatoes, tomato paste and red wine, bring to the boil and simmer gently covered for 6 to 7 minutes more. Add the cannellini beans, stir to mix and simmer for a minute or two until the sauce is piping hot. Taste and add salt if necessary. Spoon onto a serving dish, top with chorizo and pork balls and sprinkle with chopped parsley.


Chilli lemon dipping sauce


¼ cup Thai sweet chilli sauce
Zest of half lemon
3 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp crushed root ginger


Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until needed. Serve at room temperature.

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