How to Make Carne Membrillo: A Delicious Spanish Delicacy

Carne Membrillo, also known as Quince Meat, is a traditional Spanish delicacy that combines the sweetness of quince fruit with the savory flavors of meat. This unique dish has been enjoyed for centuries in Spain and is a popular addition to charcuterie boards and tapas menus. In this article, we will explore the history of Carne Membrillo, its ingredients, and step-by-step instructions on how to make it at home.

The History of Carne Membrillo

Carne Membrillo has its roots in the Spanish region of Extremadura, known for its rich culinary traditions. The dish originated as a way to preserve quince fruit, which was abundant in the region. By combining the quince with meat and spices, the locals created a flavorful and long-lasting delicacy.

Over time, Carne Membrillo gained popularity throughout Spain and became a staple in Spanish cuisine. It is often enjoyed as a tapa, served alongside other cured meats and cheeses. The combination of sweet and savory flavors makes it a unique and delicious addition to any meal.

Ingredients for Carne Membrillo

To make Carne Membrillo, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of quince fruit
  • 1 pound of lean pork or beef
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these step-by-step instructions to make Carne Membrillo:

  1. Peel and core the quince fruit, then cut it into small pieces.
  2. In a large pot, combine the quince fruit, sugar, cinnamon stick, and the juice of one lemon.
  3. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the quince fruit becomes soft and the sugar has dissolved.
  4. In a separate pan, cook the lean pork or beef until it is fully cooked and browned.
  5. Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the pan and let it cool.
  6. Using a meat grinder or food processor, grind the cooked meat until it reaches a fine consistency.
  7. Add the ground meat to the pot with the quince mixture and stir well.
  8. Season the mixture with salt and black pepper to taste.
  9. Cook the mixture over low heat for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Remove the pot from the heat and let the Carne Membrillo cool.
  11. Once cooled, transfer the Carne Membrillo to a container and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.


Q: Can I use a different type of fruit instead of quince?

A: While quince is the traditional fruit used in Carne Membrillo, you can experiment with other fruits such as apples or pears. However, keep in mind that the flavor and texture may vary.

Q: How long does Carne Membrillo last?

A: When stored properly in the refrigerator, Carne Membrillo can last for several weeks. Make sure to keep it in an airtight container to maintain its freshness.

Q: Can I freeze Carne Membrillo?

A: Yes, you can freeze Carne Membrillo for longer storage. Divide it into smaller portions and place them in freezer-safe containers or bags. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

Q: What are some serving suggestions for Carne Membrillo?

A: Carne Membrillo is often served as part of a charcuterie board or tapas spread. Pair it with cured meats, cheeses, and crusty bread for a delicious combination of flavors.

Q: Can I adjust the sweetness of Carne Membrillo?

A: Yes, you can adjust the amount of sugar used in the recipe to suit your taste preferences. Start with the recommended amount and add more if desired.


Carne Membrillo is a delightful Spanish delicacy that combines the sweetness of quince fruit with the savory flavors of meat. With its rich history and unique taste, it has become a beloved dish in Spanish cuisine. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article, you can recreate this traditional delicacy in your own kitchen. Whether enjoyed as part of a tapas spread or on its own, Carne Membrillo is sure to impress your taste buds and transport you to the vibrant flavors of Spain.

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