beef · dinner · Mexican · turkey

Tamale Meatballs

Want to hear a gross story?

I mean, of course you do! That’s exactly why you came to my food blog, right?

So, I was prepping a sour cream & cilantro coleslaw to go with some tacos yesterday. I grabbed a bag of shredded cabbage out of the fridge and poured about half of it into a bowl and then rubber-banded the rest. After that, I turned my back from my prep area to put the remaining cabbage in the fridge.

When I returned to my prep area, I noticed a giant red splotch on my white countertop.

Weird.

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Trying to figure out where the crimson spot came from, I dismiss it as something leaking off of a label. I stir my sour cream and cilantro into my cabbage bowl and then turn around to throw the spoon in the sink.

When I return to the bowl….there’s another giant red splotch has appeared on the rim of the bowl.

What the heck???!

I finally deduce that I must be bleeding from somewhere. Sure enough, I look down at my hand and see my middle finger bubbling with blood. Obviously, I’m still confused. How did this happen? 

And most importantly, how come I’m not feeling any pain?

I clean up my wound, my work area, and slap a Star Wars band-aid over the razor thin cut that is embedded in my flesh. It’s maybe only 1/8″ long but it was bleeding profusely! I still have no idea how I cut myself. I may never know.

This is probably why I don’t work in a professional kitchen. To be fair, though, no blood ever made it into any food AND I’m the only one who eats anything green in this house, so nobody turned into a vampire.

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Now onto tamale meatballs.

Sorry, I don’t have a better segue than that. Tamale meatballs. What are they? Meatballs that taste like tamales. How do you make them? It’s easy. Just grab a pound of your favorite ground meat, a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix, and go to town.

I served my tamale-inspired meatballs in some of those nifty taco boats, topped with cilantro coleslaw & sliced avocado. Rob ate his with shredded cheese only, and I was scared he was going to eat the whole pan. His exact words were: “Please keep these in the rotation.”

Sounds like a plan to me, Rob. Sounds like a plan.

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Tamale Meatballs

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 (10 oz.) cans mild enchilada sauce
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 TBS. minced dry onions
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cilantro
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1.5 lbs. ground beef (or turkey)
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, for topping
  • Flour tortillas or taco boats

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8″ square baking dish. In a small bowl, combine corn muffin mix, 1 egg, and milk. Let sit for a few minutes and then pour into greased dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and then crumble.
  2. Reduce oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cornbread, 1 egg, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, salt, pepper, onions, garlic powder, cilantro, cumin, and beef/turkey. Mix until well combined.
  3. Using hands, shape meatball mixture into 1″ balls. Place in a greased 13×9″ baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
  4. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over meatballs and sprinkle with cheese. Return pan to oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Serve either by themselves or in taco with cheese, avocado, sour cream, cabbage and fresh cilantro.

Step-By-Step Instructions

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8″ square baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the Jiffy corn muffin mix, 1 egg, and milk. Let sit for a few minutes and then pour into prepared baking dish.

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Bake cornbread for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and then crumble. Reduce oven to 350 degrees.

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In a large bowl, combine the cornbread, 1 egg, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, salt, pepper, onions, garlic powder, cilantro, cumin and beef/turkey.

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Stir mixture together until well combined.

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Shape meatballs into 1″ balls and place in a greased 13×9″ baking dish. Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes or until meat is cooked through. Pour enchilada sauce over meatballs and sprinkle with cheese. Return pan to oven and continue to cook for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

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Serve meatballs either by themselves or in flour tortillas as tacos topped with cheese, avocado, sour cream, fresh cilantro, and cabbage.

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5 thoughts on “Tamale Meatballs

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