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Oven-Roasted Meatballs with Tinga Poblana
© Christina Holmes

Oven-Roasted Meatballs with Tinga Poblana

  • ACTIVE: 1 HR

In Mexico’s Puebla region, cooks usually prepare tinga (a zesty, tomatoey stew) with chicken, pork or vegetables. Alex Stupak stirs chorizo into the traditional sauce, then adds albóndigas (meatballs) to create a hearty dish that looks Italian but tastes undeniably Mexican.


  1. 2 pounds plum tomatoes (about 4)
  2. 6 unpeeled garlic cloves
  3. 3 chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded and minced
  4. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 1 small white onion, minced
  6. 1/2 pound fresh Mexican-style chorizo, casings removed
  7. 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  8. 1 bay leaf
  9. Kosher salt
  10. Freshly ground pepper


  1. 1 large egg
  2. 1/2 cup milk
  3. 1/2 cup finely crushed tortilla chips (1 ounce)
  4. 1/4 cup shredded Cotija or pecorino cheese (1 ounce)
  5. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  7. Salt
  8. Freshly ground pepper
  9. 3/4 pound ground pork
  10. 3/4 pound ground beef
  11. Warm corn tortillas, for serving
  1. make the tinga Preheat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle. Add the tomatoes and garlic cloves and roast over high heat, turning occasionally, until softened and charred in spots, about 12 minutes; let cool slightly. Peel the garlic and transfer it to a blender along with the tomatoes and chipotles; puree until smooth.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the chorizo and cook over moderately high heat, stirring to break up the meat, until no trace of pink remains, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree, stock and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the sauce is thickened, about 1 hour. Discard the bay leaf and season the tinga with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, make the meatballs Preheat the oven to 350° and set a rack over a large rimmed baking sheet. In a large bowl, whisk the egg with the milk. Stir in the tortilla chips, cheese, garlic, oregano, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Add the ground pork and beef and knead gently to combine.
  4. Form the meat into 1 1/2-inch meatballs and transfer them to the rack. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are browned and cooked through.
  5. Add the meatballs to the sauce; toss carefully to coat. Transfer the meatballs to bowls and serve with warm tortillas.
Make Ahead
The meatballs can be refrigerated in the sauce for up to 2 days. Reheat gently before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Juicy, full-bodied Spanish red