The key to this Cilantro Pesto Meatballs recipe? Its use of enchilada sauce.
1 bunch fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
2 large green onions, chopped into 2-3 pieces
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce
Remove a few pinches of the cilantro leaves and set aside.
Put the rest of the bunch into the work bowl of a food processor along with the vinegar, garlic, onions, cumin, and salt. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped.
While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Taste and adjust salt as needed. Add hot sauce, to taste.
Place the ground beef in a medium bowl.
Pour the pesto over the top with a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix gently. Don’t squish the meat in your fists, but mix it gently with your fingers. Form meat into about 18-20 2-inch balls and place on a large plate. At this point you can cover and chill the meatballs until you’re ready to cook them.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour half of the enchilada sauce into a 9x13 baking dish. Put the coconut oil into a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
When the oil is hot, brown the meatballs on two sides (no need to cook through), and place them in the prepared baking dish. Work in batches, browning 4-5 at a time.
Cover baking dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes or until the meatballs are done in the center.