Braised Green Chorizo Meatballs and Eggs in a Harissa Tomato Sauce

May  1, 2015
4 Ratings
Photo by Jenny H | Hello My Dumpling
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

Green chorizo, a variation of the traditional Mexican chorizo, is rather difficult to find in US grocery stores. Fortunately, it is fairly simple to make at home with roasted green chiles, fresh herbs, and spinach as the greening agents for the sausage. (Adjust the heat level of this sausage by using only one serrano chile instead of two.) Make meatballs with this sausage and then braise it with some eggs in a harissa-tomato sauce. Perfect comfort food for dinner! Please note that the 1 egg in the sausage recipe is just here for binding when making meatballs. I typically do not add an egg when making this recipe for other uses like tacos.

The below recipe for the meat mixture makes about 20 meatballs. Since I usually only cook for two, I'll either make half of the recipe, or make a full recipe and freeze the rest to use it for tacos or even enchiladas. You can also easily double the sauce portion of the recipe to make all 20 meatballs. If that is what you do, just be aware that time in the oven will probably be a little longer. —Jenny Huang | Hello My Dumpling

What You'll Need
  • For the fresh green chorizo:
  • 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 medium poblano pepper
  • 1 to 2 serrano chiles
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 packed cup fresh spinach
  • Grapeseed oil, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • For the harissa-tomato sauce:
  • Grapeseed oil, as needed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons spicy harissa
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • one 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 4 large eggs
  • Manchego cheese, shredded, as desired
  • Cilantro and parsley, chopped, to serve
  1. For the fresh green chorizo:
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and pork with the cilantro and parsley. Set aside. In a small pan over medium-high heat, toast the bay leaves, cumin, coriander, and black peppercorns until they start to darken and become very fragrant. Take care not to burn them. Using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, grind the spices and add them to the mixing bowl with the ground meat. Rub the dried oregano between your palms to release its oils and add it as well.
  3. Place 1 poblano pepper directly on the grate of a gas burner with the flame turned to high. Roast until it is blackened on all sides, turning periodically with tongs. Meanwhile, in a small pan over medium-high heat, roast your serranos and garlic. The serranos and garlic are done when they are charred in places. Immediately transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with a towel. Allow to steam for 10 minutes. This step will make it easier to peel the skins off. Seed and peel the poblano as best you can, making sure to get all of the blackened parts off. If you want less heat, using gloves to handle them, seed the serranos as well. (Seriously, handle the serranos with gloves or they will burn your fingers like crazy. I speak from experience.) Roughly chop up the peppers and place them in a food processor. Peel the garlic, chop, and add that in as well.
  4. In a small pan over medium-high heat, wilt the spinach in a thin layer of grapeseed oil. Drain using a fine mesh sieve. Add to the food processor along with the apple cider vinegar. Process until fairly smooth but still thick.
  5. Crack an egg into the meat in the mixing bowl and salt the meat. Dump in the contents of the food processor. With a spatula or spoon, mix until everything is just combined. The meat mixture is at its best if you allow it to marinate for at least 8 hours. But if you are in a hurry, it can be used immediately. If continuing to make them in the harissa-tomato sauce, place half of the meatball mixture in the freezer in an airtight container, then use the rest for the recipe.
  1. For the harissa-tomato sauce:
  2. Place your oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325° F. In an oven-safe medium-sized pan, heat a thin layer of grapeseed oil. Sautée the onion and garlic just until they are translucent, about 2 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir in the harissa and cinnamon and allow to cook for a minute or so. Now add in the fire-roasted tomatoes, including the juice, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. As the tomatoes soften, use a wooden spoon to roughly crush them. After a couple minutes, add in 1/2 cup of water, bring to a boil and turn down the flame to medium.
  3. Allow the sauce thicken bit. After five minutes or so, start forming your meatballs from the recipe above. (I like to use a spoon and my palm in a scooping motion to do this.) Space 10 of them around your pan. They should be halfway in the sauce and halfway poking out. Allow them to cook on one side until they have firmed up enough that they can be gently turned over, about 5 minutes. Once the meatballs are turned over, immediately make shallow wells in the tomato sauce, crack in the eggs, and sprinkle with a generous layer of shredded Manchego cheese.
  4. Place the pan into the oven. Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, turning the pan halfway through for even cooking. The dish is ready when the whites of the eggs have just set, but the yolks still jiggle slightly. Top with the chopped cilantro and parsley. Enjoy immediately!
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