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Slow-Cooker Mexican Meatballs
over rice

Active: 30 min Total: 8 hr 30 min
We know you want to ring in 2015 with these flavorful Mexican meatballs! Get dressed up and enjoy them with a glass of champagne.
Smarts: We use the sauce that these meatballs are cooked in for tomorrow's enchilada sauce.


Slow-Cooker Mexican Meatballs:
  • Cilantro - 1/2 bunch , chopped
  • Garlic - 6 cloves , minced
  • Shallots - 2 bulbs , diced
  • Ancho chile - 1 , stemmed and seeds removed
  • Ground pork - 1 1/2 lbs
  • Garlic powder - 2 tsp
  • Cumin - 1 tsp + 1 tsp
  • Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Crushed tomatoes (28 oz / 794 g can) - 1 can
  • Crushed tomatoes (14 oz / 397 g can) - 1 can
  • Avocados - 1 , cubed
  • Limes - 1/2 , sliced into wedges
  • Rice, brown or white - 2/3 cup


  1. Cilantro / Garlic / Shallots / Ancho - Prep as directed. For the ancho, cut off the stem with scissors and empty out the seeds. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  2. Make meatballs - Mix together pork, cilantro, garlic powder, first part of cumin, chili powder, and salt. Form into 1 ½” (or 3.75 cm) wide meatballs. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  3. Slow-cook meatballs - Combine both cans of crushed tomatoes, garlic, shallots, ancho, and second part of cumin in slow-cooker (this will make enough sauce for tomorrow night). Place meatballs in the sauce and slow-cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 4 hours).
  4. Rice - For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

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  1. Remove meatballs from the slow-cooker. Puree the sauce with an immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Save 4 cups of sauce for tomorrow’s dinner (for 4 servings, adjust accordingly if customizing).
  2. Cube avocado. Enjoy meatballs over rice with avocado and lime wedges.



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