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Smothered Meatballs in Red Chile Sauce

  • TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 4 TO 6
  • FAST
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  1. 4 small ancho chiles (1 1/2-ounce package)—stemmed, seeded and torn into 2-inch pieces
  2. 1 cup water
  3. One 28-ounce can Italian peeled tomatoes, drained
  4. 4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  5. 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
  6. 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  7. 1 teaspoon coriander
  8. 1 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  9. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  10. 1 pound lean ground pork
  11. 1 pound ground sirloin
  12. 2 large eggs, beaten
  13. 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  14. 1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  15. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  16. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  17. 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.