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Stuffed Meatballs
(Albondigas en Salsa de Chipotle)

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 9 (3/4-inch) cubes queso fresco
  • 9 whole pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1 pound) can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup beef stock or broth
  • 2 to 4 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped

Sliced pimento-stuffed olives

Instructions

  1. Beat eggs with salt in large bowl. Stir in breadcrumbs; let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Add beef, pork and cilantro; mix lightly but thoroughly. Divide meat mixture into 18 even portions. Shape 1 portion into flat patty; top with 1 cheese cube. Press meat firmly around cheese to enclose completely and form ball.
  3. Repeat procedure, stuffing 1/2 of meat portions with cheese and 1/2 with whole olives.
  4. Heat lard or oil in deep 10-inch skillet over medium heat until hot. Fry 1/2 of meatballs at a time, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes; remove to plate.
  5. Remove and discard all but 3 tablespoons drippings from skillet. Add onion and garlic; sauté over medium heat until soft, about 4 minutes.
  6. Stir in tomatoes, stock and chiles; heat to boiling.
  7. Return meatballs to skillet; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until meatballs are cooked through, about 45 minutes.
  8. Remove meatballs to serving dish with slotted spoon; keep warm.
  9. Transfer tomato mixture to blender container; process until smooth.
  10. Return mixture to skillet; heat over high heat to boiling.
  11. Pour sauce over and around meatballs.
  12. Serve with sliced olives.

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