Mess Hall: Tex Mex Meatballs Edition

Welcome to the Mess Hall: Tex Mex Meatballs Edition

Today, we’re diving into a beloved recipe that has graced our Mess Hall numerous times: Tex Mex Meatballs. This dish is more than just a meal; it’s an experience. Imagine the joy of biting into a succulent meatball, where the first taste is the creamy tang of cheese, followed by the smoky allure of chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, all culminating in the rich flavors of jalapeños and cheese melding seamlessly with ground beef. Not only is this dish a delight to the palate, but it’s also incredibly simple to prepare, taking roughly 30 minutes from start to finish. So, without further ado, let’s delve into how you can bring this dish to life and cap off the experience with the perfect cigar.

Tex Mex Meatballs Recipe


  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 (15-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce


1. Begin by slicing the jalapeño in half, removing the seeds (leave them in if you prefer heat), slicing longways, then dicing. Chop the onion finely.

2. In a medium bowl, mix the ground beef, 1 cup of cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, jalapeño, egg, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper, combine thoroughly, and form into meatballs.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs in a single layer, searing for 2 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.

4. In the same skillet, add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and chipotle in adobo, and bring to a boil.

5. Reduce heat to medium-low, return the meatballs to the skillet, cover, and simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

6. Top with the remaining cup of cheese, cover to melt, about 2 minutes, and garnish with parsley before serving.

Pairing: AJ Fernandez New World Maduro

To complement the robust flavors of our Tex Mex Meatballs, we recommend the AJ Fernandez New World Maduro cigar. A.J. Fernandez is renowned for his exceptional craftsmanship, producing cigars that never disappoint. The New World Maduro, in particular, is a staple for those who appreciate quality construction and robust flavors. The earthy and peppery notes in the first third beautifully complement the meatballs, while the espresso and dark chocolate flavors that emerge in the second third enhance the dining experience. Plus, the New World Maduro is an affordable choice, making it a fantastic pairing for an unforgettable meal.

So, if you’re looking to feed your soul and indulge in a culinary and sensory journey, the Tex Mex Meatballs and AJ Fernandez New World Maduro combination is a match made in heaven. Enjoy the rich, layered flavors and the satisfaction of a well-made cigar to round off your meal.

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