If you have been following my blog for any period of time you have probably figured out that I am a heat seeker. I love anything and everything that has to do with peppers and spice. Over the past year I have found a new appreciation for cooking with dried chiles. They have become a pantry staple for us because they can be used in a myriad of dishes for lots of flavor.
Now spicy food has been an obsession of mine for a while but my latest one is sauerkraut. When I first started researching ways to heal my myriad of gut issues I kept coming across the suggestion to eat fermented foods – particularly sauerkraut. Well when I was in college I worked at a café where I made A LOT of sandwiches. Well one of the ones on the menu was a reuben sandwich and each day I would open this massive can of commercial, pasteurized sauerkraut that had the most unpleasant smell. Then I would make reubens all during lunch with this canned sauerkraut and I came to the conclusion that I didn’t like sauerkraut. So when I was first told to eat more fermented foods I immediately thought of my college café days and thought, “No way!”
Through following a myriad of different health blogs I noticed a lot of people posting about Farmhouse Kraut. It always caught my attention because I liked the packaging. One day at my local Whole Food I saw the packaging out of the corner of my eye and my husband and I went over to look at the Kraut. The smoked jalapeno immediately caught my eye because I love spicy foods and I decided to give it a try. I think I put it on top of a burger and it was like love at first bite. . It didn’t taste anything like that canned and ultra-pasteurized stuff I used to put on reuben sandwiches. The detail to flavor, fermentation and high quality organic products really makes an astounding difference. Now the kraut is a staple in our house and we are slowly working through all the different flavors.
This meatball recipe was originally created out of mistake. I didn’t have a lot of food in the house but I had dried chiles so I decided to make a sauce and then all I had was ground beef for protein. Logically the thing to do was to make meatballs and I had some leftover cilantro cauliflower rice to go with it. Now this is one of my favorite recipes and the smoked jalapeno kraut on top complements the flavors perfectly.
Lastly, I have a Farmhouse Culture Kraut giveaway over on Instagram. Head on over there to enter!
Also, you can find out more about their products and process here.
- 3 medium sized dried ancho chiles (1.5 ounces)
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1.5 cup bone broth or beef stock
- 2 Tbls apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbls lime juice
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 lb ground beef
- ¼ cup cilantro, minced
- ¼ cup onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbls ancho chile sauce
- Preheat oven to 350
- Stem and deseed the dried ancho chiles and place in a bowl of hot water to soak for 5-10 minutes.
- Strain the water and place the soaked chiles in a blender with all of the other sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth.
- Combine all the meatballs ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Scoop a heaping tablespoon of meat and roll in to a ball. Repeat until mixture is gone.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a cast iron or oven proof pan on medium high heat.
- Place the meatballs in the pan and let sear for about one minute.
- Pour the sauce over the meatballs and place the pan in the oven.
- Let cook for 25-30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and meatballs are cooked through.
- You can easily double the meatballs to serve more people.