Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce

Meatballs in sauceServe these tasty cocktail meatballs with toothpicks and plenty of hot flour tortillas to mop up the rich, savory sauce

6 sprigs marjoram

6 sprigs thyme

10 whole black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons sea salt

1/3 cup whole milk

1 large egg

3 garlic cloves, peeled

1 slice dried white bread

12 ounces ground pork

12 ounces ground beef

1/2 cup cooked white rice

Chipotle Sauce

10 to 12 Roma tomatoes (about 2 pounds)

4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup beef stock

1 teaspoon sea salt

Combine the seasonings, milk, egg, and garlic in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the dried bread to the milk mixture and allow to soak. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, rice, and milk-bread mixture. Work together with your hands. Make 36 1-inch meatballs. Cover and refrigerate while you make the sauce.

Prepare the Chipotle Sauce. Put tomatoes in a large bowl, cover with boiling water, and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Remove tomatoes from water and peel carefully. Combine tomatoes and chiles in a blender and blend until smooth. Heat the oil in a heavy, non-reactive skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the tomato mixture, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the stock and salt, bring the mixture to a simmer, and add meatballs. Cover and cook over low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until meatballs are done.

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