Chef Aaron Sanchez
Paloma and Johnny Sanchez Restaurants
New York City
Albondigas, the Spanish word for meatballs, are typically served in a Mexican meatball soup by the same name. Chef Aaron Sanchez liberates the meatballs from that traditional preparation and sandwiches them between small burger buns to create sliders. Roasted poblanos, chipotle pepper sauce, cotija cheese and garlic in the meat mix and a housemade condiment of jalapeno aioli add bold flavor to the recipe.
½ lb. ground beef
½ lb. ground pork
½ cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup veal or beef stock, divided
1/4 cup roasted and diced poblano peppers
1/2 cup minced carrots
1/2 cup chopped white or yellow onion, divided
6 tablespoons grated cotija cheese
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp. olive oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 bottle (5 oz.) chipotle pepper sauce
6 tbsp. green jalapeno pepper sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
10 mint leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
18 slider buns, split horizontally
Cotija cheese, for garnish
1. Prepare meatballs: In large bowl, mix ground beef, ground pork, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup stock, poblano peppers, carrots, 1/4 cup onion, cotija cheese, egg, egg yolk, cilantro, parsley, salt and pepper. Once mixed, use hands to form 18 2-inch balls. Set aside.
2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, fry meatballs until brown all over, turning as each side browns. Transfer to plate. Pour out drippings from skillet and reserve.
3. Reduce heat to medium. In same skillet, heat olive oil. Saute remaining 1/4 cup onion and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes or until onions just begin to brown. Add tomatoes and remaining 1/4 cup stock. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Add meatballs and chipotle pepper sauce.
4. Cover skillet with lid slightly ajar; simmer, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through, about 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, prepare jalapeno aioli: In food processor, combine mayonnaise, green jalapeno sauce and mint leaves; blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to small bowl.
6. To assemble sliders, lay out bottoms of slider rolls. Remove meatballs from skillet and place one on each roll; drizzle with some tomato sauce and sprinkle cotija cheese on top. Spread the jalapeno aioli on tops of each bun and cover. Serve immediately.