Tex-Mex Meatballs With Chili Gravy, photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Tex-Mex Meatballs With Chili Gravy

Cuisine: Fusion
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12 meatballs

Chipotle-Spiked Meatballs with Chili Gravy, Queso Fresco and Cilantro… a Tex-Mex spin on Italian meatballs!


  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 slices bread
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo; plus 1 tablespoon of adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 shallots minced and sauteed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • For Chili Gravy:
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 5 tablespoons chile ancho powder or other mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons flour
  • 2½ to 3 cups broths

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  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a small sautee pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil to medium heat, add shallots and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. In a small bowl, tear the bread slices into small pieces, add the milk, set aside.
  4. In a larger bowl combine all the remaining ingredients, add in the bread/milk mixture and the cooled shallots. Make 12 meatballs.
  5. Heat a large saute pan to medium heat, add the meatballs and cook for a few minutes on each side, until browned. Transfer to baking sheet and finish cooking in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes. To serve, add 2 to 3 meatballs to some cooked pasta, top with chili gravy, crumbled queso fresco and chopped cilantro. Really good as a meatball torta with refried beans, avocado, tomato and melted jack cheese! Make smaller meatballs and serve as an appetizer.
Chili Gravy Directions:
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons of oil to medium heat, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add flour and cook until a light golden color (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add tomato paste, sauce, cumin, paprika, Cayenne pepper, chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon salt and beef broth. Stir well to combine. When the sauce comes to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes to thicken the sauce. Taste for salt.

Chef Notes

This sauce can be used as a gravy for meatballs, meatloaf and more… Enjoy with pasta or Tex-Mex beef enchiladas.

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