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Spiced Lamb Meatballs

Spiced Lamb Meatballs

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  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 whole 2-inch dried chipotle chile or 2 teaspoons ground chipotle chiles
  • 1 small (2 1/2-inch–3-inch-diameter) potato, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon (heaping) minced scallion (white part only)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated Pecorino
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat broiler. Stir first 3 ingredients in a small dry skillet over medium heat until aromatic and slightly darker in color, about 2 minutes. Let cool; transfer to spice mill. Place chile on a baking sheet and broil, watching closely to prevent burning, just until it begins to puff up, about 1 minute. Cut chile in half; discard seeds and stem. Add chile (or ground chipotle chiles) to spice mill with toasted seeds; finely grind together.

  • Meanwhile, place potato in a small saucepan; add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Finely grate potato into a large bowl.

  • Add chile mixture, ground lamb, and next 4 ingredients to bowl; mix with your hands until well combined. Form mixture into tablespoon-size (1"-diameter) meatballs.

  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook meatballs, turning occasionally, until golden all over and cooked through, 10–12 minutes.

Nutritional Content

One serving (3 meatballs) contains: Calories (kcal) 149.6 %Calories from Fat 63.6 Fat (g) 10.6 Saturated Fat (g) 3.6 Cholesterol (mg) 37.6 Carbohydrates (g) 3.1 Dietary Fiber (g) 0.4 Total Sugars (g) 0.2 Net Carbs (g) 2.7 Protein (g) 10.0 Sodium (mg) 212.8Reviews Section

Recipe Summary

  • 1/2 cup medium-grain rice, such as arborio
  • 2 medium onions, 1 quartered and 1 thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, plus 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon ras el hanout (optional see Note)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground lamb
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a small bowl, soak the rice in water for 15 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain well.

In a food processor, pulse the quartered onion with the cup of cilantro leaves and the mint, cumin, paprika, allspice, cayenne, ras el hanoutand 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt until pureed. Scrape the puree into a large bowl and mix in the ground lamb and rice.

Line a large baking sheet with plastic wrap. Using lightly moistened hands, roll rounded tablespoons of the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and transfer them to the baking sheet.

Pour the 4 1/2 cups of water into a large, deep skillet. Add the sliced onion, butter, parsley, crushed red pepper and saffron to the skillet and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the meatballs they will not fit in a single layer. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook over moderately low heat until the meatballs are cooked and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir gently once or twice halfway through.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a large platter. Strain the cooking liquid into a bowl and skim off as much fat as possible. Return the cooking liquid to the skillet and boil over high heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Return the meatballs to the sauce and simmer over moderate heat until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped cilantro and the lemon juice, season with salt and serve.

Spiced-Lamb Meatballs with Labneh and Cucumbers

1. Mix all ingredients and tie into cheesecloth bag. Hang over bowl in refrigerator for 2 days. Over the course of 2 days, very gently squeeze to help drain water.

2. Prior to serving, remove from cheesecloth and whisk. Add olive oil if thinner consistency is desired. Season with salt and pepper. Hold for service.

To prepare the Chile Sauce:

3. Toast chiles, red pepper flakes, and cumin seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant and cumin seeds are golden, about 3 minutes. Let cool. Working in batches, finely grind in spice mill, then transfer to a blender.

4. Add vinegar, paprika, and garlic to blender and blend until smooth. With motor running, gradually stream in oil and blend until combined. Transfer to a large bowl season with salt. Hold for service.

To prepare the Meatballs:

5. Pulse onion, chopped garlic, parsley, oregano, sage, fennel seeds, coriander, cumin and salt in a food processor, scraping down sides as needed, until finely chopped. Add egg, lamb, and flour and pulse until evenly combined. Form lamb mixture into 1-in. balls.

6. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Working in 2 batches and adding another 1 Tbs. oil to skillet if needed, cook meatballs, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides and cooked through, 5-8 minutes. Transfer meatballs to paper towels to drain.

7. Transfer all meatballs to bowl with chile sauce and toss to coat.

To prepare the Cucumbers:

8. Toss cucumber in a medium bowl with lemon zest and juice, vinegar, olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

9. Spoon labneh onto shallow plate, top with 3-4 meatballs and arrange dressed cucumbers. Garnish with mint and sprinkle of chili flakes.

Spiced lamb meatballs with fregola

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F) and add a small ovenproof saucer of water to the back of the oven to create humidity.

To make the spice mix, toast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a dry frying pan over low heat until they start to release their aromas.

Once toasted, combine with the rest of the spices in a small bowl and mix together well.

Add 2 tablespoons of the spice mix directly to the red sauce at this stage to ensure the spices are later distributed evenly throughout the lamb.

In a mixing bowl, combine the lamb, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, thyme, parsley and spiced red sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Gently fold the minced lamb with your hands until all of the ingredients are evenly combined. Using your hands, roll the mixture into 70 g (2½ oz) balls.

Spray a baking tray with olive oil and carefully place the meatballs in the tray. Bake the balls in the humid oven for 18 minutes. Serve immediately.

Meanwhile, for the fregola, cook the fregola in a saucepan of salted water, following the packet directions, until done. Toast the pepitas in a dry frying pan over medium heat for around 3 minutes until they start to take on some colour. Strain the pasta and combine in a mixing bowl with the olive oil, ricotta cheese, tarragon and pepitas. Add the lemon juice and season to taste, stirring everything through. You can enjoy this dish either warm or cold.

Recipe and images from Meatballs by Matteo Bruno (Murdoch Books, $35, hbk).

Spiced Lamb Meatball and Escarole Soup

What&rsquos more feel-good than a steaming pot of soup? Lindsay Maitland Hunt&rsquos spiced lamb meatball and escarole soup from her new cookbook, Help Yourself, is next on our list: It tastes like a million bucks (but takes less than an hour to make).

&ldquoThis soup was inspired by the flavors of intensely spiced lamb shawarma and the components of Italian wedding soup (subbing beans for the traditional pasta),&rdquo Maitland Hunt writes. &ldquoIf you prefer another green like Swiss chard, collards or beet greens, use those instead.&rdquo

We&rsquore bookmarking this to make every week until April.

Excerpted fromHelp Yourself © 2020 by Lindsay Maitland Hunt. Photography © 2020 by Linda Pugliese. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

2¾ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed

1¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

8 cups broth (homemade or high-quality store-bought)

1 large head escarole, torn into 2-inch pieces

1½ cups cooked gigante or cannellini beans or one 15.5-ounce can, drained and rinsed

1. Make the Meatballs: In a large bowl, mix the lamb, garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, turmeric, paprika, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the pepper. Pinch off 1 ounce (2 scant tablespoons) of the lamb mixture at a time and gently roll it into a ball with your hands. Place on a plate and repeat with the remaining lamb mixture.

2. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook until golden brown and crispy on all sides, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Pour off 3 tablespoons of the fat from the pan.

3. Make the Soup: Add the onions, ¼ teaspoon of the salt and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper to the fat remaining in the pot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the onions are golden and everything is softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring continuously, for about 1 minute to cook off the raw tomato flavor. Add the broth and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil.

4. Add the escarole, beans, meatballs, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and return the soup to a simmer. Cook until the escarole has wilted and the meatballs have cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes more. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

5. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with flaky sea salt (if you want), and serve with a lemon wedge alongside.

  • 500g/1lb 2oz lamb mince (not too lean)
  • 1 large onion, minced or very finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2–3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp crushed sea salt
  • 50g/1¾oz pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • large handful currants
  • 2 x 20g packets of flatleaf parsley, leaves and stalks finely chopped
  • 2 large free-range eggs, beaten , for frying

Preheat the oven to 140C/120C Fan/Gas 1. Line an ovenproof dish with non-stick baking paper.

Put all ingredients, except the oil, into a large mixing bowl. Using your hands mix everything together. Really work the mixture for a good few minutes, taking the time to pummel the meat until it has broken down and to ensure that the egg and spices are evenly distributed into the mixture.

Take a small handful of mixture, slightly larger than a golf ball, and shape into a small, elongated sausage-like shape, just over 5cm/2in long, with slightly pointed ends and a fatter middle. This is the traditional kefta shape, but you can shape them into small or large patties or simply make meatballs, the choice is yours. Repeat until all the mixture has been used.

Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium–high heat. Heat a drizzle of the oil in the pan and fry several of the patties at a time without overcrowding the pan. Don’t flip them over until you see a little brown crust forming on the underside. Brown on all sides, then transfer to the ovenproof dish lined with non-stick baking paper and keep the cooked batches warm in the oven while you fry the remaining kefta.

Learn More About Ras El Hanout

Here we are again, at the intersection of food and culture. Exciting isn’t it? Or maybe it feels like trying to speak an unfamiliar language! This time we’re traveling to North Africa for a spice blend called ras el hanout (pronounced: rahz-ĕl-hăn-ūt). This blend joins the list of others that define the cuisines of the world: Middle Eastern za’atar, Egyptian dukkah, Louisiana creole, Indian curry, and so on. While other seasoning mixes are on the savory side, some downright pungent, ras el hanout tends to be more floral and sweeter.

The literal translation of ras el hanout is “head of the shop” or “top shelf.” In the spice world that means the blend was made up of the best herbs and spices the merchant had to offer. The exact spices in ras el hanout vary depending on the country of origin. Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco have their own blends. Even within a country, mixtures range from simple to complex including anywhere from 10 to 100 ingredients. Some say the blend “must haves” are cardamom, clove, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, paprika, mace, nutmeg, peppercorn, and turmeric. Regional variations include other spices, maybe a few herbs.

If using ras el hanout for the first time, try buying a ready-made blend in a small quantity from a source that sells a lot of it. Like any ground spice, it has a shelf life of only a few months. Keep it in a cool, dry, and dark place. Even following this advice, ground spices lose their aroma molecules to the air in just a few months. Whole spices do better, keeping their flavor for about a year.

Ras el hanout is most famous in tagine recipes, a traditional North African stew featuring meats, fish, or vegetables braised with dried fruits and nuts. Classic Moroccan chicken or turkey pie, b’stilla requires ras el hanout. It’s delicious and convenient as a dry rub on fish or chicken. It goes well with lamb as in Chef Kurt’s recipe for lamb meatballs. And it makes a tasty addition to couscous and rice.


For the meatballs, put all the ingredients into a large bowl, season with a generous amount of salt and pepper and mix thoroughly with your hands. The mixture will feel wet to start with, but if you fold it in on itself as if you are kneading it, it will stiffen up. Form the mixture into balls of around 50g/1¾oz each – you should end up with about 16.

To cook, either heat olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs in two batches, until well browned on all sides, or preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6, put the meatballs on a greased baking tray, and cook for around 15 minutes, or until well browned and just cooked through. Keep warm.

Meanwhile, to make the patata bravas, put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and add plenty of salt. Simmer for 3–4 minutes until the potatoes are starting to soften.

While you are cooking the meatballs, make the sauce: heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and fry for 10 minutes or until softened and translucent.

Add the garlic, spices and bay leaves and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, then add the tomatoes and honey. Pour over 200ml/7fl oz water, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, then uncovered for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the yoghurt, if using.

Drain the potatoes and heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the potatoes in a single layer (you may need to cook in batches if you can’t fit them in) and fry for 15–20 minutes or until crisp and brown on all sides.

To make the patatas bravas sauce, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and add the garlic. Cook for 2–3 minutes until starting to soften without taking on any colour. Add the vinegar and sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the sweet and hot paprika.

Pour the sauce over the crisp potatoes and sprinkle with a little more sweet and hot paprika.

To finish the dish, put the meatballs into a large, deep frying pan, and cover with the sauce. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, or until the meatballs have heated through and the sauce has reduced a little.

Spiced Lamb Meatballs

Yield Makes 30 to 40 generously-sized meatballs

  • shellfish-free
  • dairy-free
  • low-carb
  • fish-free
  • alcohol-free
  • peanut-free
  • pork-free
  • sugar-conscious
  • no-oil-added
  • soy-free
  • Calories 304
  • Fat 22.6 g (34.7%)
  • Saturated 8.9 g (44.6%)
  • Carbs 6.1 g (2.0%)
  • Fiber 0.8 g (3.3%)
  • Sugars 0.6 g
  • Protein 18.2 g (36.5%)
  • Sodium 286.1 mg (11.9%)


small onions, finely grated

(3-inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and finely grated

freshly ground black pepper


Mix together the beef and lamb until they are well combined. Using your hands or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, stir in the onion, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, chile powder, garam masala, cilantro, almonds, eggs, and flour.

Heat the oven to 450°F. Pinch off walnut-sized pieces of the meat mixture and roll into evenly-shaped meatballs. Roast the meatballs for 20 minutes or until just barely pink in the middle.

Eat with rice, yogurt, and a chopped cucumber salad.

Recipe Notes

On freezing & refrigerating:
• Meatball mixture can be made up to 12 hours in advance and refrigerated.
• Meatball mixture can be frozen, uncooked, for 3 months.
• To freeze the cooked meatballs, place them on a large baking tray and freeze them for 2 hours or until solid. Then remove them and put them in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat on a baking sheet in a 300°F oven until warmed through, turning the oven up to broil at the end for 5 minutes to re-crisp the edges.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 slices day-old white bread, crumbled
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • ⅔ pound ground beef
  • ⅓ pound finely ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (Optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger (Optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or as needed
  • 2 cups beef broth, or as needed
  • ½ (8 ounce) container sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Place the bread crumbs into a small bowl, and mix in the cream. Allow to stand until crumbs absorb the cream, about 10 minutes. While the bread is soaking, melt 1 teaspoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat, and cook and stir the onion until it turns light brown, about 10 minutes. Place onion into a mixing bowl mix with the ground beef, ground pork, egg, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. Lightly mix in the bread crumbs and cream.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Pinch off about 1 1/2 tablespoon of the meat mixture per meatball, and form into balls. Place the meatballs into the skillet, and cook just until the outsides are brown, about 5 minutes, turning the meatballs often. Insides of the meatballs will still be pink. Place browned meatballs into a baking dish, pour in chicken broth, and cover with foil.

Bake in the preheated oven until the meatballs are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove meatballs to a serving dish.

To make brown gravy, pour pan drippings into a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the flour into the pan drippings until smooth, and gradually whisk in enough beef broth to total about 2 1/2 cups of liquid. Bring the gravy to a simmer, whisking constantly until thick, about 5 minutes. Just before serving, whisk in the sour cream. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve the gravy with the meatballs.

Watch the video: Ελληνικό σουβλάκι παραδοσιακό. Grill philosophy (July 2022).


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