- 2 slices bacon, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (plain or Italian style) Panko works great.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 pounds ground pork
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano or finely chopped fresh mint
- 1-2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder (or a couple teaspoons of adobo sauce)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-3 canned chipotles in adobo, minced fine and sauce reserved
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup beef or chicken broth
1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix all the meatball ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well with your clean hands for a minute or two. Integrate the mixture well, but don’t overwork it or the meatballs might get tough.
2 With wet hands or an ice cream scoop, form meat into about 16 plum-size balls and space them out in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish, or, if you have one, a mini-muffin tin. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. To use as an appetizer dish, form walnut sized meatballs and bake about 10 minutes.
3 While meatballs bake, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat and sauté the onions until they just start to brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the minced chipotles, the can of tomatoes, oregano or mint, and beef broth. Mix well and add salt to taste. If you want more chipotle flavor, add the reserved chipotle sauce spoonful by spoonful, mixing and tasting between spoonfuls. Boil the sauce uncovered as the meatballs cook.
4 When meatballs are ready, put them into the sauce and toss to coat. If the sauce is too thin for your taste, continue to boil it down for a few minutes. Otherwise, serve with rice, tortillas or polenta. Garnish with cilantro to serve.
Yield: Serves 6-8.