Chipotle Meatballs

Albondigas al Chipotle
Servings: 4
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork (or use beef, chicken or turkey, though each will have a different taste and texture)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled, 2 finely chopped and 2 roughly chopped (divided use)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves (or another herb)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional for the sauce
  • 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs OR ½ cup cooked white rice or dried panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil or fresh-rendered pork lard or bacon drippings
  • 2 or 3 canned chipotle chiles en adobo OR 2 or 3 dried chipotle colorado/morita chiles, stemmed
  • 1 15-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • About 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano OR a couple of tablespoons of roughly chopped parsley

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the pork, 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, egg, mint, salt and crumbs or rice, mixing everything thoroughly.  Form into 12 equal-size balls.

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the fat and, when hot, lay in the meatballs.  Cook, turning regularly, until browned all over, about 10 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, in a blender jar combine the canned chipotles, tomatoes, garlic and herbs.  (If using dried chipotle colorado/morita, toast them in an ungreased skillet over medium heat until they fill the room with their aroma, 15 or 20 second.  Flip and lightly toast the other side, then transfer to the blender jar and process until nearly pulverized.). Blend until coarsely pureed.

Pour the sauce over the meat balls, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the sauce is thick, about 7 minutes.  Thin with water to an easily spoonable consistency, then season with salt, usually sbout ½ teaspoon.  Dinner is ready.

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