Albondigas en Chipotle

Good ‘ole meatballs. A 1001 variations, tasty little morsels all. Translated to the Mexican table, albondigas (Spanish for meatball) are a national standby, appearing regularly on comida corrida menus.

What’s comida corrida? They’re fixed price menus served at lunch, usually 3 or 4 courses, quick and economical.
Albondigas in a tomato chipotle sauce is one variation served for the plato fuerte, or main dish.
I usually end up making up the recipe as I go along, depending on the inspiration of the moment and what I have on hand.
For the meatballs
1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 1/2 T dried oregano
6 sprigs fresh thyme
10 peppercorns, crushed
1 T cumin seed, crushed
 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
Sea salt
1/3 cup white rice, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes and drained
Tomato-Chipotle Sauce
3/4 lb. ripe red tomatoes
3 chipotles en adobo
1 cup chicken or beef stock
1 T. veg. oil
Mix ingredients together for the meatballs. Decide on the size you’d like and start rolling. Place on a plate and refrigerate while you make the sauce.
With a sharp knife, put an X on the bottom of each tomato. Bring water to the boil in a saucepan and place the tomatoes in the water for at least 40 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. The tomato skins should peel off easily.
Put tomatoes and the chipotles in the blender and blend until smooth.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and when hot, add the sauce and cook over med high heat for at least five minutes, stirring continuously. Add broth, and when almost to the boil, add the albondigas, heating again. Reduce to a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. The meatballs will be cooked and the sauce should be thick.
Serves 4
Albondigas. Fun to say. Fun to eat.

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