Albondigas (Mexican Meatballs)

These meatballs are delicious alone, or use them in a hearty, tomato-based soup.

Serves: 12Hands-on: 40 minutesTotal: 1 hour 40 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 12


  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 canned chipotle chilies
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ lb. cooked ham
  • 1 medium-sized white onion
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • 2 slices stale bread
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper


  • Peel the yellow onion and chop into ¼" pieces. Peel and mince the garlic clove. Chop the chipotles into ¼" pieces. Boil 2 of the eggs in water for 10 minutes. When cool, chop into ¼" pieces.
  • Heat the vegetable oil to medium temperature in a large frying pan. Cook the onion and garlic in the oil until the onions are clear and tender. Add half the chilies, the tomato sauce, beef broth, oregano, cumin, and 1 teaspoon of the salt; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and let simmer 10 minutes.
  • Grind ham with a meat grinder. Peel the white onion and chop into ¼" pieces. Combine the ham, onion, beef, and pork; mix with your hands until well blended. Break the bread into ½" pieces or smaller. Put the bread chunks and milk into a small bowl and mix well. Beat the remaining egg slightly and add the remaining 1½ teaspoon. salt, the black pepper, and the remaining chopped chilies.
  • Add the egg mixture and bread-milk mixture to the meat; mix until well blended. Form into balls about 1½" in diameter. Press 2 to 3 chunks of hard-cooked egg into the center of each meatball.
  • Add the meatballs to the simmering sauce, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.