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Chipotle Meatballs

August 19, 2016

Great meatballs in a delicious slightly spicy sauce. This is one of my new favorite recipes. I’ve tried the various options (beef vs. pork or a combination, and rice vs. bread crumbs). Personally, I like the combination of half ground beef and half pork with the bread crumbs, but any of them will work. Serve with rice, noodles, or (my favorite) mashed potatoes.

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1 lb. ground beef or pork, or a combination

1 egg

1 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

2-3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint (optional)

3/4 cup packed fresh breadcrumbs (such as from Pepperidge Farm white sandwich bread, about 2-3 slices) OR 1/2 cup packed cooked cooked rice (roughly chopped)

2 Tbsp oil or bacon drippings, for frying

Sauce:

15 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes, with juice

1-2 canned chipotles in adobo (remove seeds if you want it less spicy)

1 Tbsp chipotle canning sauce

scant 1 tsp dried oregano OR 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

2 garlic cloves (minced unless you have a great blender)

To make the meatballs, combine the meat, egg, salt and mint, then add the bread crumbs or rice. Mix until just evenly distributed and form into 12 meatballs. Heat the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium. Brown the meatballs all over (about 8 min).

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a blender and pulse until coarsely pureed. When the meatballs are cooked, add the sauce to the pan, making sure all the meatballs are coated. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook about 10 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.

Remove the meatballs from the sauce. Turn the heat up to medium high and add 1/2 cup water, broth, beer or wine. Simmer for a few minutes and season with salt to taste (about 1 tsp). Serve over the meatballs.

If I have some sauce leftover, I like to use it to top toasted baguette slices and then add a little goat cheese. It makes a great appetizer or snack the next day.

(Recipe adapted from More Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless)

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