Albondigas en Salsa Roja

The Guajillo (wha-hee-oh) chile is the most common dried chile in Mexico after the Ancho. The flavor of the Guajillo is distinct, slightly fruity with a strong piney, berry under taste. Guajillo flavors dished easily so a little goes a long way. This chile is between a 2-4 on the heat scale of 1-10. Guajillo, combined with the Passilla and Ancho, form the holy trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces.

Suggested Use:
A mildly hot chile. Use in sauces, salsa, soups and your favorite chile. A little goes a long way.

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3 ancho or 5 guajillo chiles
2 cups warm water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped, or 1 can stewed tomatoes (14 oz.)
1/3 tsp. salt
1-2 sprigs fresh cilantro


1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-2 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup vegetable oil or lard


To prepare the sauce:

Soak the chiles in 2 cups of warm water for 30 minutes, until they are soft and pliable. Reserve the chile water and set it aside. Remove and discard the stems and seeds from the chiles, then coarsely chop them. Place the chiles, garlic, onion, tomatoes, salt and cilantro in a blender or food processor, along with 2-3 Tbsp. of the chile water. Blend for several seconds to make a thick and smooth sauce.

To prepare the meatballs:

In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, salt, black pepper, garlic, onion and cilantro, and mix well. Add the beaten egg and bread crumbs, and continue to mix until all ingredients are combined. Pinch off small portions of the mixture and shape into quarter-size meatballs.

Heat the oil or lard in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the meatballs in batches on all sides for several minutes, until browned. Drain them on paper towels. Also drain any remaining oil from the skillet and wipe clean. Return the meatballs to the skillet and add the sauce. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with warm, fresh corn tortillas.

Makes 25-28 meatballs.

Recipe from Latina Magazine.