Albóndigas en Salsa Verde, photo by Leslie LimónPhoto by Leslie Limón

Albóndigas en Salsa Verde

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Albóndigas are one of those classic Mexican dishes that I never get tired of eating. Traditionally meatballs are cooked in a broth with lots of vegetables, but albóndigas can also be simmered in a variety of salsas. One of my favorite ways to serve albóndigas en salsa is in a homemade salsa verde made with tomatillos and banana peppers. Enjoy these salsa verde meatballs topped with shredded Oaxaca cheese, chopped red onion, and fresh cilantro for dinner tonight. And if you have any leftovers, spoon a few albóndigas inside a toasted bolillo roll for a tasty Mexican-style meatball sandwich.

Ingredients

  • pounds tomatillos husks removed
  • 2 banana peppers seeds and stems removed
  • 1/2 cups fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 3 Roma tomatoes seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup shredded Oaxaca cheese (garnish)
  • chopped red onion (garnish)
  • chopped fresh cilantro (garnish)

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Directions

  1. Bring the tomatillos and 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low; let simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until the tomatillos are completely cooked. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  2. Puree the tomatillos with 1 cup of the cooking water along with the banana peppers, cilantro, and half of the onion and garlic in a blender until smooth.
  3. While the tomatillos are simmering, prepare the meatball mixture by combining the ground pork and beef with the remaining onion and garlic, and the tomatoes, bread crumbs, oats, salt, black pepper, and oregano. Shape mixture into 1½-inch meatballs.
  4. Heat vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Carefully pour in salsa verde and stir to combine; season with salt to taste. When the salsa starts to boil, add the meatballs one at a time. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, gently stirring occasionally, until meatballs are completely cooked.
  5. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with shredded Oaxaca cheese, chopped red onion, and cilantro.

Chef Notes

If you prefer a spicier salsa verde, add 2 fresh serrano chiles with the banana peppers.

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