TOTAL TIME: 0:25
YIELD: 4 SERVINGS
extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
2 c. grated Mexican cheese blend, divided
1/2 c. bread crumbs (preferably panko bread crumbs)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley (plus more for garnish)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
1 large egg
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
16 oz. crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp. chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 hero rolls, sliced lengthwise (optional)
To cook meatballs in the oven: Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium mixing bowl, combine ground beef, 1 cup Mexican cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, jalapeño, and egg. Season with salt and pepper. Do not over mix. Divide into 12 meatballs and place in a casserole dish. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.Meanwhile in a large pot over medium-high, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, chipotle peppers, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes then add meatballs. Turn heat to low and gently toss meatballs with sauce. Garnish with parsley.
To cook meatballs in the skillet: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add meatballs in a single layer and sear on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. When the meatballs have developed a nice crust, remove them from the skillet.Add more olive oil to the skillet, if necessary, then add onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes and chipotle pepper in adobo, and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and add meatballs back to skillet. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes.Cover meatballs with cheese, cover the skillet again and cook until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley.
To make sandwiches: Preheat oven to 350° (if you haven’t already). Place parchment on a rimmed sheet pan and arrange hero rolls, cut side up. Place 3 meatballs on the bottom piece of each hero roll. Top with a spoonful of tomato sauce and a handful of Mexican cheese. Bake until bread is warmed and cheese is melted, for 3 to 4 minutes.Top meatballs with parsley and more tomato sauce. Close the sandwich top and serve warm.