Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lamb Meat Balls

Lamb has a unique flavor that we happen to love- but it's on the expensive side so we don't buy it all the time.  When we do, we always get ground lamb because it's just easier not to screw up that way.  It's great in chili or shepherd's pie, but it's also delicious in the form of meatballs where you can taste the full flavor.  I rolled these up with some herbs and seasonings and then baked them to guarantee even cooking.  We served them over rice and a slightly sweet roasted vegetable stew and it was a perfect combination.  They would also be good inside pita or as an appetizer with some yogurt dipping sauce.  
1 lb ground lamb
2 cloves garlic, minced (we ran out of garlic so I had to use garlic powder as seen in the pics but I would never recommend this over the real thing!)
3 tablespoons grated onion
1/2 teaspoon crushed fenugreek (this is an Indian spice that can be hard to find... you could substitute curry powder for some added flavor but they aren't really the same)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 egg
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.   Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands.  
Form into equally sized balls or ovals.  I kept mine pretty large but you can do them smaller if serving for appetizers- just adjust the cooking time.  
Place them in a baking dish and bake for about 40 minutes or until completely cooked through.  Because this time varies depending on the size of your meatballs and the real temperature of your oven, start checking them at closer to 30 minutes if they look done.  Very small-sized meatballs might only take 20 minutes.  Remove from oven when done, and immediately remove the meatballs from the dish.  They will have released a lot of fat and you don't want that to stick to them when you are serving. As I said above, there are many ways to serve these- choose your favorite and enjoy!

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