MIKE GONZALEZ MAKES MEXICAN MEATBALLS INSIDE THE COOKWITHUS.COM KITCHEN

This hearty Mexican soup boasts big tender meatballs each with a little suprise inside, and a spicy chipotle tomato broth. Garnish with chopped cilantro and shredded Mexican cheese and you have a soul warming meal in a bowl.

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A Cook with Us recipe
 Meatballs with chipotle / Albondigas con Chipotle
Succulent meatballs in a spicy broth made with chipotle chiles.

Prepare broth
• 5-6 lbs. fresh tomatoes, seeded and quartered
• 1 white onion, rough chop
• 6 cloves garlic, peeled
• 2 chipotle chiles, canned
• 1 C. beef broth
• 2 Tbl. olive oil

Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic and chiles into a blender and puree. This may be done in two batches if necessary. Heat olive oil in a clay cazuela or soup pot. Strain the pureed mixture directly into the hot oil. Lower heat to medium, add the beef broth, and simmer the mixture for approximately ten minutes until it darkens and thickens a bit.

Prepare meatballs
• 1 lb. ground pork
• 1 lb. ground beef
• 1 slice bread softened in milk
• 2 T. fresh mint, chopped*
• 1 egg
• 2 t. salt
• 2 hard boiled eggs, cut into eight parts
• 3 chipotle chiles, canned

Combine the first six ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using hands combine thoroughly. Measure ¼ cup of meat mixture and form into a ball about 2 inches in diameter. Make an indentation in the meat using your thumb. Place a piece of the hard-boiled egg into the indentation. Reform the meatball so the egg is completely inside and covered. Place uncooked meatballs in the broth, add the chipotles and simmer for 30 minutes. Ladle the broth into a soup bowl, add two meatballs and garnish with chopped cilantro and a sprinkling of queso cotijo cheese or parmesan cheese.

Serves 6

* If fresh mint is unavailable use the contents of a mint teabag. Substitute one tablespoon of the dried mint leaves.