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Adan Medrano’s Chile Ancho Albondigas (Meatballs)


Adan Medrano, CIA culinary grad and chef, was at San Antonio’s Nao on Thursday night. The meal was good from start to finish, and best of all, we got copies of his book, full of recipes such as the one below as well as others that we’ll share here on SavorSA soon.

Adan Medrano Chile Ancho MeatballsMedrano started San Antonio’s Chicano Film Festival back in the 1970s,  and wrote  “Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage in Recipes” (Texas Tech University Press, $29.95), to get the recipes of his people on paper. The dinner at Nao served recipes made from his book, under the kitchen guidance of chef Geronimo Lopez. The book is a combination of social history and cookbook. These meatballs were served as appetizers on skewers, but we’d suggest them as a dish, with freshly made gorditas and some of the velvety frijoles that Nao served inside squash blossoms, another appetizer from this book.

See SavorSA’s article on Medrano, by John Griffin here.

Chile Ancho Meatballs (Albondigas)

For the adobo:
4 chiles anchos, seeded and deveined
1 white onion
3 garlic cloves
2 teaspoon fresh Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups tomatoes, diced
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon white vinegar

For the meatballs:
1 pound ground pork
1 pound 96 percent fat-free ground beef
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
3 ounces large bread strips or pieces (to make about 1 ½ cups)
1/2 cup milk
To make the meatballs:  In a saucepan, add water to cover the chiles and bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat, let the chiles cook for 15 minutes and then drain.

Place the chiles, onion, garlic, Mexican oregano and salt in a blender and purée until completely smooth.  If there are any flecks or small bits in the purée, strain through a fine mesh sieve.  The chile purée should be velvety smooth.

Heat the canola oil in a dutch oven, add the chile purée and fry it for 10 minutes.  It will splatter a bit. The color will deepen and the purée will thicken. Set aside.

In a bowl, pour the milk, add the bread and set aside. Mix together the pork and beef.  Squeeze excess milk from the bread and add it to the meat, along with the beaten egg.

Add 8 tablespoons of the chile ancho purée to the meat, add the salt and mix thoroughly.

Form the seasoned meat into 40 1-½- inch meatballs and place them on a large cookie sheet.

Roast the meatballs in a 400-degree oven for 12-15 minutes until browned and crispy on the outside. Remove from the oven and allow the meatballs to rest for 10 minutes.  They are ready to serve with the adobo.

To make the adobo:  To the remaining purée add the tomatoes and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook for 30 minutes until the adobo begins to thicken.  Taste and correct the salt.

The meatballs can be served as in the picture, or the adobo can be served on the side for dipping.   They are moist and delicious the second day and will keep in the fridge for five days.

Ay, Dios mío, these food pathways are full of deliciousness!

Makes 40 1-½ inch albóndigas

From Adan Medrano

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