Not your mama’s meatballs!

20 12 2007

albondiga-closeup.jpgI decided to try something a little different the other day in an effort to replicate a dish I’ve had at one of my favorite restaurants in San Antonio, Guajillo’s. They make a meatball dish that is spectacular. No, not the typical Italian meatballs (your mama’s), but a Mexican inspired meatball. It is stuffed with hard-boiled egg and served in a spicy (not necessarily hot-spicy) tomato/chile sauce. The egg in the meatball adds an incredible depth to the meat and the sauce tastes sweet and smoky at the same time. Here’s what you need:

Meatballs

  • Ground beef (70%-80% lean; you want some leftover fat drippings), I used 2 lbs.
  • Hard boiled egg (approx. 2 for every lb. of beef)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Sauce

  • Fresh tomatoes (3 medium)
  • (5) Dried chile ancho (or pasilla) – rehydrated, seeded, and stemmed
  • Garlic, 3-4 pods
  • Onion, 1/2 medium
  • Cilantro, one bunch
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil

flat-meatball.jpgMix the meat by hand with the seasoning and separate into small meatball-size portions. I used a 1-1/2″ leveled scooper. Flatten out the portions and place a small portion of egg in the middle like in the picture. Roll up the meatballs firmly and brown in olive oil (it is probably a good idea to place the meatballs in the fridge for a while to firm them up, but I’m impatient). Set aside.

Stew the tomatoes, onion, peppers, and garlic in the beef fat renderings until the tomatoes turn slightly orange in color. Pass through a blender with the cilantro and season to taste. Return the sauce and the meatballs to the pan, or pot, and simmer for another 30-60 minutes on very low heat. You just want the balls to absorb some of the sauce. Serve with white rice.

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