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Dinner

Meatball Torta

You may have heard of the popular meatball recipe known as albóndigas en salsa de chipotle, or meatballs in chipotle sauce, made mouthwatering with Mexican beef. Here, that dish is combined with the concept of a torta, or a sub, for a tasty and easy way to enjoy them.

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Chihuahua, Mexico City

The arid lands of Chihuahua, a state in northern Mexico, are ideal for ranching, and the tender beef, goat and sheep raised here are the basis for many dishes found on menus in Mexico City. You may have heard of the popular meatball recipe known as albóndigas en salsa de chipotle, or meatballs in chipotle sauce, made mouthwatering with Mexican beef. Here, that dish is combined with the concept of a torta, or a sub, for a tasty and easy way to enjoy them. While the traditional dish would have you broiling tomatoes from scratch, we opted for canned tomatoes for quicker assembly.

Servings
6
Prep Time
35 min
Duration
60 min

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 slice stale whole-grain bread, roughly torn
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 12 oz lean ground beef
  • 12 oz lean ground pork
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp each fresh chopped thyme and marjoram, chopped (or use ¼ tsp dried)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp each ground cumin and black pepper

Sauce

  • 5 dried chipotles (NOTE: Do not substitute with canned for this use.)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 16-oz can San Marzano tomatoes with liquid
  • ¼ tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup water

Tortas and garnish

  • 6 whole-grain buns (such as bolillo)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • grated Oaxaca cheese (or substitute with mozzarella or Monterey Jack)
  • sliced red onions or macerated onions

Preparation

  1. Prepare meatballs: In a small bowl, soak bread in milk for 5 minutes. To a medium bowl, add all remaining meatball ingredients and mix to combine; add bread-milk mixture and combine well. Form mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter, making 18 to 20 meatballs. Set aside.
  2. Prepare sauce: Heat a large sauté pan and add whole chiles, turning occasionally, until soft, about 1 minute. Transfer to a board and slit chiles open. In same pan, heat oil. Return chiles to pan, flattening with a spatula, until dark brown but not black, 40 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer chiles to a blender, leaving the oil. To pan, add onions, garlic and cumin and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, until browning. Add mixture to blender along with canned tomatoes and salt. Blend until smooth. Return to pan; add water and cook on medium low for 10 minutes.
  3. Add meatballs to sauce; simmer for about 10 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.
  4. Split buns and top with meatballs. Spoon sauce over meatballs and top with avocado, cheese and onions.

Related:

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories 615
  • Carbohydrate Content 40 g
  • Cholesterol Content 123 mg
  • Fat Content 35 g
  • Fiber Content 8 g
  • Protein Content 36 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 11 g
  • Sodium Content 998 mg
  • Sugar Content 8 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 15 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 4 g