Meatballs are a family favourite, great because they are easy to cook, brilliant for freezing but can become a bit boring if you knock out the same flavours every time. This version is a bit different and is a super one pot meal as the bean stew provides everything else you need with a good meatball, perhaps just some crusty bread to mop up the sauce or a side of veg. I didn’t use very hot chillis in this recipe so feel free to up the heat with a different variety if you wish – I do love the ancho chilli for its warmth and flavour rather than in your face heat.
Mexican Style Meatballs with Bean Stew – Serves 4-6
500g beef mince
1 dried Ancho Chilli
250ml Beef Stock
1 can each of kidney and cannellini beans (or what ever cans you have!)
80ml milk (non dairy if you wish)
1 medium white onion chopped
2 cloves garlic peeled chopped and mashed
3 large handfuls fresh coriander chopped
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
Place the ancho chilli into the warm stock to rehydrate
When done, remove chilli and take out the stalk and seeds and chop up quite finely.
Mix the beef , egg coriander breadcrumbs and season well
Form into meatballs (approx16)
Heat 1 tbsp oil and brown on all sides and move to a dish and set aside
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan add onion and cook over medium heat until light golden
Add garlic and cook for another minute or 2
Stir in the puree, sugar, vinegar and stir to incorporate and cook for a minute
Add the stock, the drained beans, the chopped chilli, paprika and season well.
Bring to the boil then tuck in the meatballs to the sauce and either pop into the oven (170C) for about 30 minutes to cook them or continue to cook on the hob, turning the meatballs from time to time. If in the oven then cover the pan with some foil for about 20 mintes then cook uncovered for the last 10.
Stir in a final handful of chopped coriander and if you wish a spoon of creme fraiche with some grated lime over the top before serving.