Recipe video above. The best Mexican Meatballs are spiced with Mexican flavours and made with:1. crushed corn chips instead of breadcrumbs (more flavour!);2. a combination of beef AND pork (softer and tastier); and3. are browned in the oven then simmered in the chipotle tomato sauce for a winning flavour exchange: meatball juices leech into the sauce, and the meatballs absorb the sauce flavour. Win win!Spiciness: Chipotle powder and fresh jalapeno in meatballs gives it a warm buzz but definitely not spicy. Same for chipotle chilli in sauce. Feel free to reduce both and add a pinch of paprika in its place.
1/2tsppaprika, hot for spicy or sweet for not (or sub more Chipotle powder)
2clovesgarlic, finely minced
1chipotle from a can of Chipotle in Adobo, finely chopped - add another for extra flavour! (Note 4)
1tspAdobo Sauce from a can of Chipotle in Adobo(Note 4)
800g / 24 ozcrushed tomato
1tbspcoriander/cilantro, roughly chopped
Toppings & garnishes (pick & choose):
Coriander/cilantro leaves, whole
Guacamole(or just diced, sliced or mashed plain avocado)
Rice, for serving(Note
Preheat oven to 220°C/390°F (200°C fan). Place a rack over a tray. Spray rack with oil.
Blitz corn chips: Place corn chips in a Nutribullet or food processor. Blitz until they become fine crumbs. (Else put in a ziplock bag and bash!)
Meatball mixture: Place meatball ingredients and meatball Mexican spices in a bowl and mix well with your hands.
Roll meatballs: Roll into 3 - 3.5cm / 1.2 - 1.4" balls. Place on rack. Should make around 20 - 24 meatballs.
Bake 10 minutes: Spray meatballs generously with oil. Bake 10 minutes until browned (they will still be raw inside, we finish cooking them in the sauce).
While the meatballs are in the oven, start the sauce.
Sauté garlic and chipotle: Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add chopped Adobo Chile and sauté for 20 seconds.
Simmer 5 minutes: Add tomato, Adobo sauce and sugar. Bring to simmer, then turn heat down to low and cook, stirring every now and then, for 5 minutes.
Cook meatballs in sauce: Remove meatballs from oven and transfer into sauce. Continue to cook the sauce for another 10 minutes, rolling meatballs every now and then, until the sauce is thickened and the meatballs are cooked.
Fresh coriander: Sprinkle with chopped coriander/cilantro.
Serving: Serve over rice or stuff into tortillas with toppings of choice!
1. Beef/pork mixture yields softer, juicier meatballs. You can just use all beef, but the meatballs will be a bit firmer.2. Corn chips - Crushed cornchips instead of the usual breadcrumbs really adds something special to these meatballs! You can definitely taste the hint of corn flavour and the salt adds seasoning.Sub: panko breadcrumbs (1 cup) or ordinary plain bread crumbs (3/4 cup - finer than panko so you need less for equivalent weight) PLUS 1/4 tsp salt (because corn chips have salt in them).3. Chipotle powder is ground dried jalapeños and it's an ingredient used in Mexican and Tex-Mex cooking. Find it at Harris Farms (Syd), delis, spice stores, bulk-bin health food stores. Everywhere, it seems, other than Australian major grocery stores!Also used in: Prawn/Shrimp Tacos, Chipotle Lime Roasted Cauliflower (this is so good!), Cowboy Bean Salad, Fish Tacos, Mexican Shredded Beef, Chicken Tacos, Cowboy Rice Salad.4. Chipotles in adobo – These are chipotles (dried, smoked jalapneos) in a flavoured, tangy red sauce that is quite spicy. Great Mexican shortcut ingredient that adds a ton of flavour! Usually found in cans (sometimes jars). Widely available in the US, and nowadays in Australia too. Check the Mexican section of large grocery stores like Coles & Woolies.Substitute in place of the chipotles in adobo: 1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder + 1/2 tsp SMOKED paprika powder + 1 tbsp sriracha (YES, really, it’s pretty close to Adobo Sauce!).Freeze leftover chipotles: Use a small ziplock bag, arranging chillies in one layer so it’s easy to break a bit off to use as needed. Use for Beef Barbacoa, Mexican Shredded Chicken, Mexican Corn.5. Rice options!