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Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce

8

Albondigas, the Spanish word for meatballs, is also the name of this traditional dish in which they are simmered in a spicy tomato sauce.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, May 2004

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)

Directions

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

  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. 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.

Cook's Notes

This is a good dish to make ahead. Let it cool, then refrigerate in a covered container for up to 2 days. Reheat, partially covered, over moderate heat before serving.

Reviews Add a comment

  • beektty
    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.
    Reply
  • lotus_morning
    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!
    Reply
  • MS11193588
    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.
    Reply
  • MS11193588
    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.
    Reply
  • krispyg220
    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.
    Reply
  • gareed
    9 DEC, 2007
    i tried this recipe with lamb meat it was very bad.
    Reply
  • gareed
    26 NOV, 2007
    wich chiles? not mentioned
    Reply
  • gareed
    26 NOV, 2007
    wich chiles? not mentioned
    Reply
  • lotus_morning
    13 NOV, 2007
    how many chiles? not in ingredients.
    Reply