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Oven-Roasted Meatballs with Tinga Poblana
© Christina Holmes

Oven-Roasted Meatballs with Tinga Poblana

  • ACTIVE: 1 HR
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • MAKE-AHEAD

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.

Tinga

  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

Meatballs

  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