Mexican chipotle meatballs recipe

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Hot and spicy Mexican meatballs, made with pork, bacon, chipotle chiles and spices. Chipotle chiles are smoked and dried jalapeno peppers. They can be bought dried, pickled or preserved in adobo sauce. Chipotle chiles add a smoky flavor to dishes and quite a bit of heat, if used in quantities. This dish is great as an appetizer or even a main dish, if served with rice.
Preparation time: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 45 minutes, Serves: 4 


For the meatball mixture
3 slices bacon, roughly cut
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 large eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1 lb ground pork
1/2 cup loosely packed coarsely chopped mint leaves

For the chipotle sauce
2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
1 to 2 Tbsp of adobo sauce
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/3 cup tomato juice (from the canned tomatoes)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and black pepper to taste

1 to 1/2 cups or chicken broth (use as much as needed)

To serve
Sour cream


Remove the stems and seed from the chipotle chiles and discard. Return chipotle chiles in adobo sauce.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Prepare and bake the meatball mixture
Add the bacon and 1 garlic clove in a food processor and process until chopped. Add the 2 eggs, bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon of salt and pulse until combined well. Add the pork and mint and pulse a bit more, until well combined but still a bit chunky. Do not make into a paste. Empty processor into a large bowl.

Wet hands and form 16 to 20 meat balls. Lay the meat balls on a large baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes, turning once.

Prepare the chipotle sauce
While the meatballs are baking, add the chipotle chiles, tomatoes, tomato juice, 1 to 2 tablespoons of chipotle sauce (adjust to taste), oregano and garlic cloves and season with salt to taste. Process until you get a smooth puree.

Finish cooking the meatballs
Spoon off and discard any fat from the meatballs. Pour chipotle and tomato mixture evenly over the meatballs. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the meatballs from the sauce and set aside. Pour sauce into a bowl and chicken broth to it, enough to achieve the desired consistency. Taste and adjust with salt and black pepper, to taste.

Serve the meatballs in individual plates, pour the chipotle sauce over, and spoon a dollop or two of sour cream on top.

Serve with a simple green salad.
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