Mexican meatballs


Mexican meatballs


For the meatballs

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 225 g minced pork
  • 225 g lean minced beef
  • 50 g fresh breadcrumbs, toasted
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • oil, for frying

For the sauce

  • 1 chipotle chilli, seeds removed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 175 ml beef stock
  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 7 tbsp passata

To serve

  • 1-2 sprigs oregano
  • boiled rice

Tips and Suggestions

To freeze the raw meatballs, lay them on a baking sheet lined with cling film, keeping them well spaced. Freeze, uncovered, until solid, then transfer them to a freezer bag for long-term storage.

To defrost, lay the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with kitchen paper, cover loosely and thaw in the fridge for 3 hours or so.

Chipotle chillies are dried smoked jalapeño chillies with a heat level of about 6. They give all sorts of dishes, from ribs to dips, a great smoky flavour.


1. For the sauce: soak the chipotle in a little warm water for 15 minutes while you prepare the meatballs.

2. For the meatballs: combine the onion, pork and beef in a mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, oregano, cumin and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper and mix well.

3. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Roll the mixture into balls about 4cm in diameter.

4. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the meatballs and fry for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned. Set aside.

5. Finely chop or purée the chilli in its soaking water. (If you want less heat, purée the chipotle with the soaking water and then use just half of the resulting purée.)

6. Combine the oil, chipotle, onion, garlic, stock, tomatoes, passata, and some salt and pepper in a large pan or flameproof casserole. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

7. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes to heat through.

8. Garnish with oregano sprigs and serve with rice.

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