Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chipotle Meatballs

I’ve made a Mexican Meatball before but in the recipe I had the flavors were just a little too sharp and intense. I did like the concept, however, and had my eye out for another Mexican style meatball that might tickle my fancy a bit more. I found this recipe on Eat, Drink, Paleo, and while I made some substitutions that took it out of Paleo land, you could easily take it right back if you were so inclined (Looking at you, Emily). These turned out really good. Lots of robust flavor, but not too much spiciness, and they made a very satisfying meal over rice. My only complaint is that it didn’t really make a “sauce” per se, but that could easily be remedied with a small can of tomato sauce next time. I went ahead and added that into the ingredients for you because that's just the kind of person I am. 

1 pound ground beef
3 chipotle chilies in adobo, minced
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp of salt
½ large onion, finely chopped

½ large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 chipotle chilies, minced
½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp sweet paprika
2 bay leaves
1 14.5oz can diced tomatos (we used fire-roasted)
½ tsp salt
1 8oz can of tomato sauce (I would add this next time)

Queso Fresco (optional)
Cilantro, chopped (optional)

You’ll notice (or you will now that I’m pointing it out) that there is a half onion in both the meatballs and the sauce. You can actually cook it all at the same time, and split it after it’s been sautéed in olive oil (or butter) for 5 minutes or so. Add half the onions to a bowl and set the rest aside for the sauce. Mix the onions with the ground beef, garlic, chilies, cilantro, coriander, cumin, paprika, olive oil and salt to make the meatballs. Mix them well with your hands and then form them into meatballs. I like to make mine about golf ball size.

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a deep frying pan until hot and then brown the meatballs, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Don’t worry that they aren’t cooked all the way through. After the balls are browned, add the ingredients for the sauce to the pan. If you can, when adding the spices, avoid putting them directly on the meatballs as that makes it hard to stir them into the sauce. You’ll have an easier time if you put them into a saucy area of the pan.

Stir everything together, making sure that the sauce gets on and around the meatballs, and simmer on medium low for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. You want to make sure the meatballs finish cooking all the way through. Finally taste the sauce (carefully!) and add more salt if needed. We served ours over rice with a sprinkling of queso fresco. You could also sprinkle on some fresh cilantro as well!  


  1. Oh my goodness... I will have to make this, soon!