Mexican Meatball sandwiches ready to assemble

Mexican Meatball Sandwiches

November 26, 2013 by Michelle

To whomever invented the beautiful concept of meatball sandwiches, I bow to you.  Much as I love my pasta, there’s something about having just the meatball and sauce with some bread.  And cheese.  I’m actually one of those odd folks who likes spaghetti and meatballs, but I don’t eat my meatballs at the same time as my spaghetti – they have to be eaten separately.

Whenever I make spaghetti and meatballs for my family, I always make sure to make extra meatballs so I can have just the meatballs and sauce for a meal later – and hopefully I’ve also made some fresh bread that I can get into the mix, too. This is one of my go-to meals for obvious reasons, but sometimes it’s fun to change things up a little.  I wanted to create something that had a different flavor to it but retained the same concept as my usual Italian meatballs.  Since I’m apparently on a Mexican kick, I decided to make Mexican meatball sandwiches and skip the pasta entirely.

Mexican Meatball sandwiches ready to assemble

Because I have been running everywhere lately, I decided to cook the meatball and sauce in the crockpot, which made this even easier to put together.  Lately, everyone at my house seems to like assembling and creating their own dinner, so I served the sandwiches in their components so that the wee ones could create them exactly as they desired.  Me? I put my meatballs onto my rolls, doused it in sauce and devoured the sandwich.  Unfortunately, everyone else did, too, as we seemed to be particularly hungry that night, but trust me, they were pretty. And yummy.

The sauce is definitely different from your usual Italian tomato sauce. It’s sweeter, as I included some cinnamon, a tiny bit of vanilla, and sugar, in addition to spices and the tomatoes.  Between that and the sauteed onion’s natural sweetness, it had a very different but oh so yummy kick to it that surprised everyone at first but was a welcome change.

Mexican Meatball Sandwiches

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
4 cloves garlic, divided
1 onion, divided
1/4 t chili powder
1/4 t cumin
1/3 c bread crumbs
1 egg
1 T olive oil
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t sugar
1/4 t vanilla
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 c chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
6-8 rolls

Directions:
Start but dicing your onion and mincing your garlic.  Saute the onion in the olive oil.  After three minutes, add the minced garlic and stir.  Sautee for another three to four minutes until it’s softened and starting to turn transparent.  Remove the onion from the pan and chop a little further if needed.

sauteed onions chopped further

While your veggie are cooking, start to prepare your meatball ingredients. In a small bowl, break the egg, then add the chili powder, cumin, and bread crumbs.  Add your ground beef, as well, then wait for your onion and garlic.

ingredients ready to make Mexican meatballs

Place half the onion into a bowl and the other half in your crock pot.  Using your clean hands without jewelry, mix together the meatball ingredients.  Continue combining just until everything is evenly distributed, which should take less than a minute.

Use your hands to mix together the meatball ingredients

Form your meatballs from the meat you just mixed together, making them about the size of ping pong balls.  As you make each meatball, go ahead and place it into the bottom of your crock pot.  Once you’ve made all your meatballs, wash your hands well.

Pour your tomatoes over the meatballs, then add the sugar, cinnamon, and sugar, sprinkling them around so that they are somewhat distributed.  Add the stock, and cover.

Mexican meatballs ready to cook in the crock pot

Cook the meatballs and sauce on low for 6-8 hours.  Once they are cooked, use a spoon to remove the meatballs.  You’ll want to puree your sauce.  If you have an immersion blender, this is a great time to use it.  If not, place the sauce into your regular blender, filling it no more than one-third full.  Place the cover on your blender and use a kitchen towel to hold it closed.  Hot liquid expands, and you do not want to have the sauce explode out of your blender and burn you.  Please be careful (and buy an immersion blender).

Immersion blender pureeing the sauce

 

You’ll notice that the sauce isn’t your traditional red.  Because of the other ingredients we used – the partially caramelized onions, the cinnamon, the cumin, etc., the sauce is a little more on the orange side.  That’s how it should be, and it tells you you’ve definitely crossed into new (and yummy) territory!

Serve immediately on rolls as a meatball sandwich.

Mexican Meatball Sandwiches

Mexican Meatball Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1 onion, divided
  • 1/4 t chili powder
  • 1/4 t cumin
  • 1/3 c bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t sugar
  • 1/4 t vanilla
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 c chicken stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6-8 rolls

Instructions

  1. Start but dicing your onion and mincing your garlic. Saute the onion in the olive oil. After three minutes, add the minced garlic and stir. Sautee for another three to four minutes until it's softened and starting to turn transparent. Remove the onion from the pan and chop a little further if needed.
  2. While your veggie are cooking, start to prepare your meatball ingredients. In a small bowl, break the egg, then add the chili powder, cumin, and bread crumbs. Add your ground beef, as well, then wait for your onion and garlic.
  3. Place half the onion into a bowl and the other half in your crock pot. Using your clean hands without jewelry, mix together the meatball ingredients. Continue combining just until everything is evenly distributed, which should take less than a minute.
  4. Form your meatballs from the meat you just mixed together, making them about the size of ping pong balls. As you make each meatball, go ahead and place it into the bottom of your crock pot. Once you've made all your meatballs, wash your hands well.
  5. Pour your tomatoes over the meatballs, then add the sugar, cinnamon, and sugar, sprinkling them around so that they are somewhat distributed. Add the stock, and cover.
  6. Cook the meatballs and sauce on low for 6-8 hours. Once they are cooked, use a spoon to remove the meatballs. You'll want to puree your sauce. If you have an immersion blender, this is a great time to use it. If not, place the sauce into your regular blender, filling it no more than one-third full. Place the cover on your blender and use a kitchen towel to hold it closed. Hot liquid expands, and you do not want to have the sauce explode out of your blender and burn you. Please be careful (and buy an immersion blender).
  7. Serve immediately on rolls as a meatball sandwich.
https://www.honestandtruly.com/mexican-meatball-sandwiches-recipe/

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