Monday, November 14, 2016
A Kitchen Keeper Original - Small Plate Lamb Meatballs
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...It's been a deliberately busy weekend. We spent Saturday wandering with good friends through Brownsville, and today a slew of visitors mercifully kept us away from the television set. Fortunately, I had soup, chili and meatballs in the freezer, so, no one went hungry, and I was able to sit and actually enjoy the company of my unplanned guests. As I was warming the meatballs, I realized I had never shared this recipe with you. I normally serve the meatballs as an appetizer, but tonight I stuffed them into slider buns to stretch them further. The recipe I use is my attempt to create meatballs like those we had at a favorite tapas bar in Toledo, Spain. These are close, very close. I suspect they are a bit different from others you've tried because they are made with lamb, rather than pork or beef. If you enjoy lamb, you'll love these. They are quite easy to make. I like to prepare them a day before cooking so the flavors of the lamb and mint can meld. That 24 hour timeout is a nice but not necessary step. The cooked meatballs freeze beautifully and while I prefer to defrost them in the fridge, the microwave makes a great substitute if you are pinched for time. Do try these. They are great for unexpected guest or a quick weeknight family meal. And you know what? Emptying the freezer today has freed up space for Thanksgiving make-aheads. Life is good! Here is how the meatballs are made.
Small Plate Lamb Meatballs with Fresh Mint and Cinnamon Tomato Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 pound lean ground lamb
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup fresh chopped mint leaves, divided use
1 teaspoon kosher salt + salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper + pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (10.5-oz.) can condensed beef broth, undiluted
1 (15.5-oz) can whole tomatoes drained and pureed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sherry wine vinegar
1) In a bowl, mix lamb with egg, bread crumbs, half the chopped mint, and salt and pepper. Using a level tablespoon of mixture, form into 1-inch balls.
2) Heat olive oil in a very large skillet. Add meatballs and saute over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper toweling.
3) Add onion and garlic to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add beef broth and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
4) Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender. Add reserved mint, cinnamon and vinegar.Puree.
5) Return puree to skillet. Add tomato puree and meatballs and simmer over low heat until meatballs are cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. Yield: 24 meatballs.
Meatballs for A Crowd Meatballs in Caramelized Onion Gravy
Turkey Meatballs with Lemon Garlic Sauce Pork Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce