← Back to Search Results
Latin American, Mexican
Chipotle Meatballs

Photo by: Christopher Hirsheimer
Comments: 3
 

Recipe

While living in Mexico City, I ate chipotle meatballs all the time in the bare-bones cocinas econimicas that dotted my neighborhood, those simple little holes-in-the-wall where grandma cooks three-or four-course meals of basic, everyday food from scratch, all for just a few bucks. When I bought a cookbook there – it was call Marichu en la Cocina Mexicana – nearly thirty years ago, I learned how to make this version. I’ve reworked the process to simplify it, but kept intact the savory punch of roasted tomatoes, smoky chipotle, bacon and mint.

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled (divided use)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup dried bread crumbs (3/4 cup if they’re the coarse-textured panko)
  • Salt
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground pork
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) coarsely chopped mint leaves, plus extra leaves for garnish, if you wish
  • One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
  • 1 to 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chipotle canning sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • About 1 ½ cups beef or chicken broth

Directions

Turn on the oven to 450 degrees. In a food processor, combine the bacon and 1 garlic clove. Process until finely chopped. Add the eggs, bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon salt. Pulse several times to combine thoroughly, then add the pork and mint. Pulse the machine, a few more times until everything is well combined – but not at all processed into a paste. Remove the blade.

With wet hands, form the meat into 16 plum-size spheres, spacing them out in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Bake until lightly browned (they’ll be browned more underneath than on top), about 15 minutes.

While the meatballs are baking, combine the tomatoes, with their juice, chipotles, canning sauce, oregano, the remaining 2 garlic cloves (cut in half) and ½ teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor. Process to a smooth puree.

When the meatballs are ready, spoon off any rendered fat from the baking dish, then pour on the tomato mixture, covering the meatballs evenly. Bake until the sauce looks like tomato paste, 15 to 20 minutes.

Microwave the broth for about a minute to heat it (or heat in a small saucepan). Divide the meatballs among four dinner plates, leaving most of the sauce behind. Stir enough broth into sauce to give it an easily spoonable consistency. Taste and season with additional salt if you think the sauce needs it. Spoon the sauce over the meatballs, decorate with extra mint leaves, if you wish, and carry to the table.

Notes

Riffs on Chipotle Meatballs:

Though pork is most common in Mexico, you can make these from beef or a combination of beef and pork. Lamb can be worked into the mix too. Turkey is what will appeal to most people looking for the leanest dish. The bacon adds just the right tough to succulence and savor, so I’d fight to keep it in, even though the meatballs will turn out fine without it. Mint adds the traditional touch, but parsley, thyme (not too much), sage and basil are all delicious in meatballs.


© 2009 Rick Bayless
 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.

615kcal (31%)
1057mg (44%)
23g
4g
42g (65%)
0g
15g (75%)
18g
4g
222mg (74%)
7g
35g
73mg
1092mg
78mcg RAE (3%)
25mg (42%)
154mg (15%)
6mg (34%)
 

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
  • annemax

    01.12.12 Flag comment

    These are my husband's absolute favorite meatballs! If I ever need to get him in a good mood, all it takes is a plate of these. My only hint is to heat the tomato sauce (2 minutes in microwave) before you pour it over the meatballs. I've shattered two casseroles.
    If you're worried about the heat from the chipotles, start with a half and no sauce and go from there.

  • CactusLover

    03.22.11 Flag comment

    I really loved these meatballs. Very good. Yes they are spicy, but just serve with mexican rice.

  • dr_urey

    03.31.10 Flag comment

    I just made these meatballs. I cut back on the amount of canning sauce and I made sure that every seed was washed out of the peppers and it was still REALLY HOT! The falvor was great but they were just edible.

 

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

125-best-vegan-recipes 125 Best Vegan Recipes
by Maxine Effenson Chuck, Beth Gurney
everyday-chinese-cooking Everyday Chinese Cooking
by Katie Chin, Leeann Chin
food-to-live-by Food to Live By
by Myra Goodman
rice Rice
by Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Joanne Lamb Hayes
cooking-for-friends Cooking for Friends
by Gordon Ramsay
david-burkes-new-american-classics David Burke's New American ...
by David Burke, Judith Choate
rosas-new-mexican-table-friendly-recipes-for-festive-meals Rosa's New Mexican Table: F...
by Roberto Santibanez
Already a member? Click here to Log In
close

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new Cookstr features and tools







By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Spinner
New to Cookstr? Click here to Sign Up
close


Forgot your password? Click here
close
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?