By Adán Medrano, Adán’s Blog
This recipe is an excerpt from Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage in Recipes published by Texas Tech University Press, 2014.
Albóndigas illustrate the dynamism of food pathways, the routes by which foods travel via bird flights, human wars, marriages, and so on. As it travels, food changes, refashioning itself into new cultural types. This Texas Mexican meatball, albóndiga, originally comes to us from the Spaniards who arrived in the 1500s. “Albóndiga,” an Arab word, settled into Spanish cuisine because, of course, Spain was an Arab territory from 711 until 1492 when the Arabs were expelled militarily from the Iberian Peninsula.
The flavoring for this meatball is chile ancho, although chipotle is most commonly used in albóndigas throughout our region. I like the taste of the ancho because it reminds me of carne con chile. The rest of the recipe is straight from the Arabic Morocco, Spanish method: bread and eggs. Three native ingredients transform this Arab dish into Texas Mexican: Mexican oregano, chile ancho, and tomatoes. Roasting the meatballs, reduces fat and gives the albóndigas a crispy, tasty exterior that goes well with the adobo.
Recipe (makes 40 1-1/2-inch albóndigas)
For the Adobo:
4 ancho chiles, seeded and deveined
1 white onion
3 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons fresh Mexican oregano (poliomintha longiflora)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups tomatoes, diced
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
For the Meatballs:
1 pound ground pork
1 pound 96% fat-free ground beef
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
3 ounces bread slices, crust removed, broken up
into 1-inch pieces (about 1-1/2 cups or 3 slices)
1/2 cup milk
To Make the Chile Purée and Meatballs
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
1. Remove the seeds from the chiles by cutting a slit lengthwise in each chile to open it and remove the stem with the attached seeds. Remove all the other seeds in the chile pod.
2. Place the chiles in a large pot and cover them with water. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and let the chiles steep for 15 minutes so that they will rehydrate. Drain and allow to cool. Discard the water.
3. Place the chiles, onion, garlic, oregano, and salt in a blender. Add 1 cup of clean water and blend on high until the paste is completely smooth, with no large particles. Add a little more water if needed. If there are large particles in the paste after you are done blending, strain the paste through a fine-mesh sieve. Set aside.
For the remaining steps in preparation: http://www.newstaco.com/2014/06/23/recipe-albondigas-de-chile-ancho-chile-ancho-meatballs/