Monday, April 7, 2008

Middle Eastern Lemon Meatballs

I'm told by my Turkish friend, who gave me this recipe, that it's considered a very special dish, and in her home village, is only made for weddings and important celebrations like that.

I make it more often than that, but thought you should know the history...

Lamb and Lemon meatballs

1.5 pounds of ground lamb
1-2 cups rice or couscous (I used brown rice), cooked and hot
one onion, minced (very, very small pieces)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 eggs
parsley, coriander, cumin, salt, white or red pepper to taste

mix the ingredients together immediately after the rice is cooked and drained for the best results. Use a spoon to stir (hot rice is HOT) until well mixed. Once well mixed, allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Remove your rings and spray your hands with cooking spray (or use a little oil to grease your palms). Shape into small meatballs about the size of an egg yolk. Your hands will get really really fatty during this process as the cooked rice will 'melt' some of the fat out of your ground lamb. Keep paper towels on hand to wipe your hands from time to time.

Place meatballs close together in a deep sided baking dish.


1/2 cup lemon juice
1 egg

whisk together firmly and quickly... be careful, the lemon juice can curdle the egg. Pour this mixture over the meatballs until the liquid comes up to about halfway up the meatballs. (If you packed your meatballs close enough, you may have to shift them around a little to get the sauce in between all the meatballs... this is good, you want your meatballs close!)

If you don't have enough sauce for your meatballs, make more. You can always make more, but if you play around with the sauce too much, it will curdle, so you want to make it in small batches.

Cook in preheated oven, 375 degrees for ~30-45 minutes. Meatballs are done when the lemon-egg sauce looks like custard and meatballs are browned on top.

Meatballs can be served hot or cold... if you eat them hot, I recommend eating the custard sauce *with* the meatball. If eaten cold, I recommend removing the meatballs from the baking dish and scraping off most of the sauce. (It gets fat in it from the cooking process and can make the custard taste really weird and sort of grainy when cold)

1 comment:

Hanlie said...

I love lemon with lamb...