Estofado de Albóndigas (Slow-Cooker Meatball Stew)

by Erica Dinho on November 18, 2011

This Meatball Stew is perfect for this time of year, as it starts to cool down and you need something to warm you up. The flavor of the meatballs slowly cooked in a sauce of tomato, garlic, cumin, achiote, peppers, onions, cilantro, scallions, and vegetables is a delicious meal for the whole family. I love to serve it with white rice. It is the best way to soak up the delicious sauce!

I love using a slow cooker, because it does all the work for me, but you could also toss it all in a heavy pot, cover and simmer for about one hour.

Buen provecho!



(About 6-8 servings)


  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup masarepa
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 grated onion
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Stew

  • 1 cup alinos sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon achiote or sazon Goya with azafran
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 large carrots, slice crosswise
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro


  1. Place the ground beef and pork in a large bowl. Add onions, garlic, scallion, red bell pepper, masarepa, eggs, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix well using your hands.
  2. Form the meatballs and add them to the slow cooker along with the remaining stew ingredients. Mix everything together carefully so as to not break up the meatballs.
  3. Cook on low 7-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. Serve with white rice and avocado on the side.
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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeannie November 18, 2011 at 11:21 AM

This looks like something I would love to have for lunch! Yum!


2 Claudia November 18, 2011 at 11:23 AM

This is a warming change from my Italian meatballs. Never thought meatballs could be so pretty!


3 Belinda @zomppa November 18, 2011 at 11:28 AM

I am so breaking out my slow cooker next week – and this is mouth watering!


4 Diana Lopez November 18, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Hi Erica, I’m a huge fan of your meatball stew and have made it several times. What would be the difference between that recipe and this new one? And are you adding the eggs to the meatballs so that they don’t fall apart while in the slow cooker?
Thanks! =)


5 Erica November 18, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Diana, It is a different dish and you are correct about the eggs!


6 Barbara November 19, 2011 at 6:13 AM

My slow cooker is long gone, Erica, but this can be prepared on top of the stove as well. Looks comforting!


7 Heather B November 19, 2011 at 8:38 AM

Sounds great! I havnt had a crock pot for very long but I am thoroughly enjoying it! And I looove to see recipes designed for crock pots…and this looks like a simple winter meal! Thanks!


8 Johana November 19, 2011 at 10:25 AM

I was tinking of buying an slow cooker but hiw sage they are?? Can i go to work and dont worry because my house gona ger fire lol …. I really want one but thats my husband worriest!!! :)


9 Angie@Angiesrecipes November 19, 2011 at 2:29 PM

I need to add slow cooker to my X’mas wish list! This looks so good.


10 mary November 20, 2011 at 2:05 PM

E: You mention achiote in the description but I do not see it on the list of ingredients. How much is called for?
I am making this tonight!


11 Erica November 20, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Mary-1/4 teaspoon


12 mary November 20, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Oh I bet it is the azafrán in the sazón Goya, no?


13 Malice May 31, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Azafrán is saffron, BUT achiote is an ingredient in sazón con azafrán.


14 Erica December 5, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Thank you everyone!


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