Albóndigas en Salsa Roja

Serve these little meatballs with warm, fresh corn tortillas. The recipe makes 25 to 28 meatballs.

Country of Origin
Preparation time

Salsa Roja
3 ancho or 5 guajillo chiles
2 medium fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped, or 1 can (14 oz.) stewed tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 sprigs cilantro

1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup vegetable oil or lard


1. Make the salsa roja: Soak the chiles in 2 cups of warm water for 30 minutes, until they are soft and pliable. Reserve the chile water and set aside. Remove and discard the stems and seeds and coarsely chop the chiles. In a blender or food processor, combine the chiles, tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the chile water. Blend for several seconds to make a thick and smooth sauce. Taste for seasoning.

2. Meanwhile, make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, onion, garlic, cilantro salt, and black pepper. Mix well. Add the egg and breadcrumbs, and continue to mix until all ingredients are combined. Pinch off small portions and shape into quarter-size meatballs.

3. In a large skillet, heat the oil or lard over medium heat. Add the meatballs in batches and cook until browned on all sides. Drain meatballs on paper towels. Drain any remaining oil from the skillet and wipe clean. Return the meatballs to the skillet and add the sauce. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.