5.0 1

Smothered Meatballs in Red Chile Sauce

Plus: More Pork Recipes and Tips

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4 TO 6

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  • 4 small ancho chiles (1 1/2-ounce package)—stemmed, seeded and torn into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • One 28-ounce can Italian peeled tomatoes, drained
  • 4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 red or yellow bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch strips


  1. In a microwavable bowl, cover the ancho chiles with the water, then cover the bowl and microwave the chiles on high for 2 minutes. Transfer the chiles and 1/2 cup of their soaking liquid to a blender. Add the tomatoes, 2 of the garlic cloves, 2 of the scallions, 1 teaspoon of the cumin, the coriander and the chicken stock. Season the chile sauce with salt and pepper and puree until smooth.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the pork and beef with the eggs, Parmesan, bread crumbs, thyme, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and the remaining 2 garlic cloves, 2 scallions and 2 teaspoons of cumin. Form the meat into 18 meatballs.
  3. In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the meatballs and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 6 minutes. Add the peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chile sauce and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the sauce is thickened and the meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve at once.

Serve With

Sliced bread and crumbled farmer cheese.

Contributed By Published February 2003

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