Recipe courtesy of Aaron Martinez

Albondigas Estilo Mama Meatballs Like Mama Makes

Whenever my mother comes to visit, I always ask her to make me these albondigas. I have tried to serve them at the restaurant but people can't seem to get excited about meatballs. Too bad! It's a fabulous soup. My mother always served it with freshly made corn tortillas, salsa casera and refried beans with asadero. Meatballs freeze well and reheat wonderfully.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: about 45 small meatballs
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1/4 cup masa harina mixed with 1/4 cup warm water

1 pound ground beef

1 garlic clove, minced

4 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil

3 garlic cloves

1 tablespoons flour

2 quarts fresh homemade beef or chicken stock

1/4 cup chopped scallions, both the white and the green parts

1 large tomato, roasted, peeled and chopped (If you are unable to find truly ripe tomatoes, add 4 tablespoons canned tomato sauce.)

2 Anaheim or California long green chiles or jalapenos, roasted, peeled, and chopped

3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, leaves only

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, leaves only


  1. Combine masa harina with warm water. Mix ground meat with prepared masa, salt, pepper, garlic. Make meatballs about 1-inch round, about the size of a walnut. Set aside.
  2. In medium saute pan heat 2 tablespoons lard or oil over medium heat. Add 1 whole garlic clove. Let cook for 20 seconds, press with back of a cooking spoon to release the flavor. Remove the garlic. Set aside. 
  3. Brown the flour in the lard until dark golden color, about 1 minute. Heat stock in soup pot or large Dutch oven until warm and add flour mixture. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer stock for 5 minutes. Taste and correct seasoning. 
  4. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil in large frying pan, add chopped scallion, tomato, chiles and the reserved 2 garlic cloves, minced, stir well to combine. Cook for 2 minutes and add to stock. Add cilantro and mint and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the meatballs to the stock and simmer over low fire for 15 minutes or until done.
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