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Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce

This is a good dish to make ahead. Let it cool, then refrigerate in a covered container for up to two days. Reheat, partially covered, over moderate heat before serving.

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely grated and squeezed firmly to remove excess liquid
  • 1 small zucchini, coarsely grated and squeezed firmly to remove excess liquid
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice
  • 1-2 chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Cooked rice and chopped fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)

Cook's Note

This is a good dish to make ahead. Let it cool, then refrigerate in a covered container for up to two days. Reheat, partially covered, over moderate heat before serving.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    In a medium bowl, combine pork, onion, zucchini, egg, breadcrumbs, oregano, cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; mix well with a fork. Form into 16 (2-inch) balls; transfer to a plate, and place in freezer until firm, 10 to 15 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, combine tomatoes and chiles in a blender; process until smooth, and set aside.

  3. Step 3

    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the meatballs; cook until brown, turning often, 4 to 5 minutes; transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and meatballs.

  4. Step 4

    Reduce heat to medium-low. Add pureed sauce and return all meatballs to skillet. Cover; simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Uncover, and simmer until sauce is thickened, 5 to 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over rice, sprinkled with cilantro, as desired.

Source
Everyday Food, May 2004

Reviews (9)

  • 14 Nov, 2010

    This was an easy and yummy recipe. I added a tsp of sugar to the tomato chipotle mixture, to taste. The sugar brought out the sweet smokiness of the chipotle chiles.I used two chipotles, but I noticed one was exceptionally large. I used it anyway because I like spicy food, but I have to say, it was pretty darn spicy. I ate the meatballs with sour cream on the side to subdue the spiciness. Great meal! And definitely great with white rice and fresh cilantro.

  • 12 May, 2008

    i LOVE this recipe as it is easy and big on flavor. i use 2 chipotle chiles and it is quite spicy. you can buy a bag of them dried then when you need them you just soak them in water for 20 minutes. extra sauce is then great on pasta, french fries, etc!

  • 7 Mar, 2008

    The meatballs were good. I used 1/2 of a chipotle, which is fine for me. The sauce is missing something. I'm not sure what-- maybe some cumin? Maybe part tomatoes and part sauce or paste? I have to play with it. I made a lime-cilantro rice.I melted a pat of butter, 1 cup of white rice and the juice of one fresh lemon. I sauteed this for a few minutes, then added 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth (or water). I cooked at low heat for about 20 minutes, then fluffed. I added fresh chopped cilantro.

  • 1 Mar, 2008

    Gareed-- look again. The recipe calls for chiles in adobo sauce. They are easy to find-- in the International section at your grocery. Why would you make this with lamb? This is a Mexican dish-- they use primarily beef and/or pork. What didn't you like? I wish people would rate recipes with more specific info, to help someone who plans to make this. TIP: You can easily freeze chipotles for future use. They are very spicy and hot...so a little goes a very long way.

  • 27 Jan, 2008

    You can find the chipotle chiles (smoked jalapenos) in a can in the mexican food section of your grocery store. The recipe calls for 1 or 2, and they have great flavor, but can be quite spicy.

  • 9 Dec, 2007

    i tried this recipe with lamb meat it was very bad.

  • 26 Nov, 2007

    wich chiles? not mentioned

  • 26 Nov, 2007

    wich chiles? not mentioned

  • 13 Nov, 2007

    how many chiles? not in ingredients.