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Monday, October 18, 2010

Lamb Meatballs with Greek Tomato Sauce

Just another typical Friday in our household...

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!

Lamb Meatballs

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
red wine
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. 


Angie's Recipes said...

Love these meatballs! They look irresistible!

Monet said...

First off...your kind words mean so much to me. Secondly...I wish you could bring me over a bowl of meatballs. These seriously look like the tastiest meatballs I've ever seen. Thanks for sharing Kate.

Gigabiting said...

Meatballs are having their food moment- I love it.

Mike said...

Oh, how I love meatballs and making them with lamb and a Greek tomato sauce puts them over the top.

I guess the only thing I would ask is there something that you would recommend serving this with to make the meal more "complete"?



Kate said...

Hi Mike - we usually have this with a green salad. I put zucchini or cucumber in it with some tomatoes and feta cheese and a vinaigrette. Hope you enjoy them! Kate

Cookin' Canuck said...

There is something so comforting about a plate of meatballs and these sound really good.

Carolyn said...

I love lamb and this sounds like a wonderful way to prepare it. Seems to me you did a great job recreating the recipe from memory.

Marisa said...

Nothing like a good meatball! Love the Greek spin on these.

The Mom Chef said...

Wow, way to go pulling such a wonderful meal together in so short a time. I adore lamb. A good use for the tzatziki would be chicken souvlaki. It's easy and healthy and delicious. And it keeps with the Greek theme. :)