October 18, 2010
It doesn't get much better than this. I'm talking warm SF indian summers, autumn vegetables and heirloom tomatoes, a slightly slower pace of life, and of course this unforgettably fiery, smoky, chipotle meatball sauce.
I say unforgettable for two reasons. When I first had this, I couldn't stop thinking about it and had to stalk my coworker for weeks upon weeks to get the recipe. And when I finally got around to making these meatballs a couple of years later for my (spice adverse) parents one hot summer evening, I accidentally added 2 or 3 too many chipotle chiles to the sauce. Oopsies. Although -- between excessive gulps of water and relentless beads of sweat dripping down their foreheads -- they kept gasping, "this is good steph, this is good", I can't imagine how their mouths must have felt if I even thought it was a bit spicy. LOL. I giggle every time I think of that incident :D
Anyway, I can assure you that I did not OD on the chipotle chiles this time around. Although, don't be fooled -- the smokiness from the chipotles is what really sets this sauce apart from anything else. The addition of cumin adds even more depth, and grated parmesan cheese offsets both savory flavors with a subtle saltiness. The meatballs are also worthy of mentioning. Rather than pan fried, they're cooked directly in the chipotle sauce which keeps them ultra moist and tender. Nothing about this resembles your typical flat, boring tomato sauce...which is fantastic, because AC doesn't like red sauces (see what I have to live with??).
Just be warned, this makes a lot. We've been swimming in meatballs for the past couple of days...which is actually a really good thing if it's not too hot outside and you have plenty of water to chug! ;)
Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce
Recipe adapted from Meg, an old coworker and friend
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground beef
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 C bread crumbs
salt and pepper
4 canned chipotle chiles, in marinade
6 medium tomatoes, roasted and peeled
1 C chicken broth
6 garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin
1 T dried oregano
6 oz tomato paste
1/8 C grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
Combine the pork, beef, ground cumin, garlic, eggs, bread crumbs, and salt & pepper to taste. Mix well. Shape the mixture into medium-sized meatballs. Cook the meatballs in the chipotle sauce for about 30 min.
To make the chipotle sauce, puree the chiles, tomatoes, broth, paste, garlic, cumin, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil.