Saturday, September 28, 2013

Pork Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce - Albondigas

Folks who have followed One Perfect Bite from its inception, know that I do some unusual testing at this time of year. I tackle bookmarked recipes and untried holiday desserts in February and March because that's when I finally have time for testing and sorting through them. I also try to create a backlog of dishes that can be used when we're traveling or my family is visiting. I must be honest and tell you that I never dreamed this recipe would make it to the final cut. It was tested because our older grandsons love meatballs and I was looking for a recipe that would fill the bottomless pits we've come to call their stomachs. Bob made the first call and insisted I sit down and try them with him. Between the two of us we finished half the recipe. These are really nice. While you probably won't request them for your final meal, they make for wonderful family eating and add a little spice to an ordinary meatball dinner. The recipe was developed by Martha Stewart and I have no hesitation in recommending it to you. The heat in the recipe comes from chipotle chiles. If you use both of the recommended chiles, you will have pleasantly, but distinctively, hot meatballs. If that is more than you dare to chance, use just one. The meatballs can be made two days before serving and slowly rewarmed. They can be served over rice for a meal, but if made smaller they would also make a wonderful tapas-style appetizer. I know you'll like these. Here's the recipe.

Albondigas - Pork Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Martha Stewart


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)


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. Yield: 4 to 5 servings.

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