Chipotle Albóndigas recipe

The albóndigas is the hispanic term for meatballs, shaped with ground meat and even sometimes made with fish or chicken, mixed with various spices, such as parsley, cumin, etc., although there is even a vegetarian way to make them, with seitan. You will encounter both words albóndiga and almóndiga and they both designate the same thing, although almóndiga is considered a colloquial term only. In this recipe presented here we add typical ingredients from Mexico to our spanish meatballs, I think you will agree with me that this combination goes well together...

Making Chipotle Albóndigas:


• 2 and 1/2 lb. ground beef
• 2 cups cooked white rice
• 3 eggs
• 6-7 chopped fresh mint leaves
• a fistful of finely chopped cilantro
• salt to taste

For the sauce:
• 3 cups pureed tomatoes
• 2 cups liquid chicken broth (can use water and dry bouillon 2 tablespoons)
• 1 or 2 chipotle chiles in adobo cut in small pieces, with three tablespoons of the adobo
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin powder
• 1 tablespoon olive oil

Making these the mexican way:

• Mix the meat with the rice, cilantro and the mint. Add the eggs one by one to measure the consistency of the mixture, so that it doesn't become too liquid. Season with salt and set aside.

• Put a saucepan with the oil on the stove and when the oil is hot, add the tomato puree, then pour the chicken broth in and mix; bring to a boil and reduce heat setting.

• Meanwhile, as the sauce is simmering, form the meatballs with the meat we prepared earlier, about one inch diameter. Put the albóndigas in the sauce slowly, arranging them so that they are all completely covered by the tomato sauce.

• Let the albóndigas simmer for about 15 minutes or until they are well cooked. Then add the chipotle chile(s), the adobo, the cumin and mix; simmer for a few more minutes so the meat absorbs the spicy taste from the adobo and so the sauce reduces to a medium thick consistency.

• Serve the albóndigas with plenty of sauce, the sauce should be medium thick. The albóndigas can be eaten with bread or corn tortillas, also great when served with mexican-style boiled beans or even rice.

Buen provecho!

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