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A sauce of charred vegetables complements meatballs with a surprise filling
Milk Street Bowtie Egg-Stuffed Mexican Meatballs with Salsa Roja

Egg-Stuffed Mexican Meatballs with Salsa Roja

50 minutes

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Egg-Stuffed Mexican Meatballs with Salsa Roja

Free

Like the ones we were taught to make in Mexico, these meatballs, or albóndigas, hide a sliver of hard-cooked egg at the center. For best flavor and texture, we use a combination of ground beef and pork. The tomato-onion-garlic puree that becomes the salsa roja doubles as a seasoning for the meat mixture. As you shape the meatballs, if you find the mixture is to be too tacky for easy handling, moisten your hands with water. These meatballs typically are garnished with crumbled chicharrones (fried pork rinds); we’ve made them optional but they are delicious served this way. Serve with rice and/or warm tortillas.

4

Servings

Tip

Don’t allow sauce to come to a full boil when cooking the meatballs, or they will end up dry and tough. Gentle simmering will keep their texture tender and light.

50 minutes

1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 pound plum tomatoes, whole
½ medium white onion, halved
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1-2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, plus the sauce clinging to them
1½ teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried mexican oregano
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
⅓ cup (¾ ounce) panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg yolk
12 ounces 85 percent lean ground beef
12 ounces ground pork
3 hard-cooked large eggs, peeled, each cut into 4 wedges
Fresh cilantro, to serve
Chicharrón, crumbled, to serve (optional)
Ingredients
  • 1

    tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    pound plum tomatoes, whole

  • ½

    medium white onion, halved

  • 2

    medium garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1-2

    chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, plus the sauce clinging to them

  • teaspoons chili powder

  • 1

    teaspoon dried mexican oregano

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • cup (¾ ounce) panko breadcrumbs

  • 1

    large egg yolk

  • 12

    ounces 85 percent lean ground beef

  • 12

    ounces ground pork

  • 3

    hard-cooked large eggs, peeled, each cut into 4 wedges

  • Fresh cilantro, to serve

  • Chicharrón, crumbled, to serve (optional)

Directions
  1. 01
    In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. Add the tomatoes, onion and garlic, then cook, occasionally turning the vegetables, until deeply charred in spots, about 5 minutes; if the garlic is done before the tomatoes and onion, remove the cloves from the skillet.
  2. 02
    Add the charred vegetables to a blender along with the chipotle chilies, chili powder, oregano and ½ teaspoon salt; set the skillet aside. Blend until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute, scraping the blender jar as needed. Measure ⅓ cup of the puree into a medium bowl, mix in the panko and let stand until fully softened, about 5 minutes. Pour the remaining puree into the reserved skillet and set aside.
  3. 03
    Line a rimmed baking sheet with kitchen parchment. To the panko mixture, add the egg yolk, both ground meats, ¾ teaspoons salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Using your hands, mix until homogenous. Divide into 12 portions (about ¼ cup each) and place on the prepared baking sheet. One portion at a time, in the palm of your hand, flatten into a 3- to 4-inch disk. Place a wedge of hard-cooked egg in the center, then enclose meat around the egg and roll between your palms to form a smooth ball. Set the meatball on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate uncovered for 10 minutes.
  4. 04
    Meanwhile, set the skillet over medium and bring the sauce to a simmer. Reduce to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and darkened, about 10 minutes. Place the meatballs in the skillet, then cover and cook at a gentle simmer until the centers reach 160°F, 15 to 20 minutes; turn the meatballs once about halfway through. Serve sprinkled with cilantro and chicharrón (if using).
Tip: Don’t allow sauce to come to a full boil when cooking the meatballs, or they will end up dry and tough. Gentle simmering will keep their texture tender and light.
.
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Reviews
Noreen S.

So incredibly good! This was the best albóndigas recipe I've found. The sauce was sweet with just a little heat. Perfect served on basmati rice.

Kathy Y.

What roll does the egg provide in this meatball? I'm not an egg lover so I'm having a hard time imagining the uniqueness it offers.

Debi H.

This was excellent, I served this over rice with corn esquitas. The sauce is outstanding. It has a hint of heat and chipotle I would double or l.5x the sauce so you can have extra sauce to bathe the meatballs and rice in it. Plus, I think the sauce work great for an enchilada sauce.

Natalia S.

Yum!!! These were delicious!!! Wow!!!! A couple of mine blew up a little but still amazing flavor. I only used 1 chipotle Chile in adobo (and it did not turn out spicy!!!) I am happy I didn’t use 2 of them! Yum!!! Served with chicharrones!!!

Chandra J.

Has anyone tried freezing and reheating? How did the albondigas hold up?


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Egg-Stuffed Mexican Meatballs with Salsa Roja

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

50 minutes

Tip

Don’t allow sauce to come to a full boil when cooking the meatballs, or they will end up dry and tough. Gentle simmering will keep their texture tender and light.

Ingredients
  • 1

    tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 1

    pound plum tomatoes, whole

  • ½

    medium white onion, halved

  • 2

    medium garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1-2

    chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, plus the sauce clinging to them

  • teaspoons chili powder

  • 1

    teaspoon dried mexican oregano

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • cup (¾ ounce) panko breadcrumbs

  • 1

    large egg yolk

  • 12

    ounces 85 percent lean ground beef

  • 12

    ounces ground pork

  • 3

    hard-cooked large eggs, peeled, each cut into 4 wedges

  • Fresh cilantro, to serve

  • Chicharrón, crumbled, to serve (optional)

Step 1 of 4

Char Vegetables

1
tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
1
pound plum tomatoes, whole
½
medium white onion, halved
2
medium garlic cloves, peeled

In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. Add the tomatoes, onion and garlic, then cook, occasionally turning the vegetables, until deeply charred in spots, about 5 minutes; if the garlic is done before the tomatoes and onion, remove the cloves from the skillet.

Step 2 of 4

Combine Ingredients In Blender

1-2
chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, plus the sauce clinging to them
teaspoons chili powder
1
teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
Kosher salt
cup (¾ ounce) panko breadcrumbs

Add the charred vegetables to a blender along with the chipotle chilies, chili powder, oregano and ½ teaspoon salt; set the skillet aside. Blend until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute, scraping the blender jar as needed.


Measure ⅓ cup of the puree into a medium bowl, mix in the panko and let stand until fully softened, about 5 minutes. Pour the remaining puree into the reserved skillet and set aside.

Step 3 of 4

Create Meatballs

1
large egg yolk
12
ounces 85 percent lean ground beef
12
ounces ground pork
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3
hard-cooked large eggs, peeled, each cut into 4 wedges

Line a rimmed baking sheet with kitchen parchment. To the panko mixture, add the egg yolk, both ground meats, ¾ teaspoons salt and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Using your hands, mix until homogenous. Divide into 12 portions (about ¼ cup each) and place on the prepared baking sheet.


One portion at a time, in the palm of your hand, flatten into a 3- to 4-inch disk. Place a wedge of hard-cooked egg in the center, then enclose meat around the egg and roll between your palms to form a smooth ball.


Set the meatball on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate uncovered for 10 minutes.

Step 4 of 4

Cook Meatballs and Serve

Fresh cilantro, to serve
Chicharrón, crumbled, to serve

Meanwhile, set the skillet over medium and bring the sauce to a simmer. Reduce to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and darkened, about 10 minutes.


Place the meatballs in the skillet, then cover and cook at a gentle simmer until the centers reach 160°F, 15 to 20 minutes; turn the meatballs once about halfway through. Serve sprinkled with cilantro and chicharrón (if using).

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