So much for getting home in time to finish the lamb stew. Pipe dream that was. Cook for two hours. Right. Connie's leaving to play bridge at 7:00. It's 5:50 so dinner's got to be on the table by 6:30. Or, he eats a burger on the way and I dive into a jar of Ragu. Plain. Don't ask. It's a vegetable and tastes good. But, as luck would have it, Jason at Ancient Fire Wines posted about lamb kebabs today. They looked positively amazing. And, I had a bag of lamb patties in the freezer. With just the right amount of luck, I could thaw a pound of ground lamb and get these guys on the table.
The lamb was pretty fatty. I couldn't imagine putting kebabs under the broiler. All that fat dripping off? Fire hazard? Nope. Time for meatballs. I made tzaki sauce to go with the meatballs. Then, I had an ah-ha moment. In one of the Greek cookbooks there's a recipe for Greek tomato sauce. That'd be perfect. Except the cookbook wasn't in it's spot. There is an empty spot where it belongs. Not good. It means I may have lost a cookbook. So, I tried to recreate the Greek tomato sauce. I neglected to put in mint but I think I got pretty much everything else. The Peppadew peppers were sitting on the counter waiting to go into the potato salad. So a few of those got tossed in for good measure.
Most of the tzaki sauce is now in the fridge awating another use. Our servings of the meatballs and tomato sauce, however, were inhaled. We loved the crunchiness the almonds gave the meatballs. Their flavor was fabulous. Unfortunately, I didn't measure as I made the tomato sauce. So, what measurements are there are guesses. And, super double bonus - the meatballs were wonderful leftover for lunch! Thank you, Jason!
1 lb lean ground lamb
1/2 c sliced almonds, finely chopped
1/2 c finely chopped onion
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 t salt
1 t ground cardamom
1 t ground cumin
3/4 t black peppercorns, freshly ground
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
Greek Tomato Sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
Peppadew peppers (or some crushed red pepper)
mint leaves (which I forgot but which add the Greek essence!)
LIghtly combine the meatball ingredients.
almonds, chopped in a coffee grinder...
garlic, plenty of garlic
Form into balls and brown.
Most ground lamb will be so fatty that you'll not have to put any oil in the skillet. Drain the meatballs on paper towels.
Combine the sauce ingredients. Simmer while you're browning the meatballs.