Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce

Made with ground lamb and cooked in a tangy yogurt sauce, these are a delicious variation on a classic meatball. While meatballs aren’t difficult to make, oftentimes they’re tough or dry. Using rich ground lamb prevents the latter; to avoid the former fate, work the ground meat gently—don’t knead it to death. If you can’t find or don’t like ground lamb, you can substitute ground beef (opt for an 85/15 blend). Any leftover meatballs make a mean sandwich the next day.

By | September 06, 2017

Ingredients

For the Yogurt Sauce:
  • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Meatballs:
  • 1¼ pounds ground lamb
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup fine fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sunflower seeds, for garnish
  • Pickled chiles, homemade or store-bought, for garnish

Preparation

Make the yogurt sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, 2 tablespoons of the dill, and 1 tablespoon of the mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine the lamb, egg, bread crumbs, shallot, harissa, salt, cumin, and pepper and mix well with your hands. Shape into 24 small balls, dipping your hands in cold water as needed to keep the mixture from sticking.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs in a single layer and fry, turning the meatballs so they brown on all sides, until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a plate. Pour off and discard any fat in the pan.

Spoon some yogurt sauce into the bottom of four bowls. Top with a few meatballs, and garnish with the remaining dill and mint, the sunflower seeds, and a few pickled chiles.

Serves 4 as a main course.

About this recipe

Excerpted from Homegrown by Matt Jennings (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Huge Galdones.

For Matt’s recipe for Charred Brussels Sprouts with Lardo, Fiore Sardo, and Piquillo Peppers, visit EdibleRhody.com.

Ingredients

For the Yogurt Sauce:
  • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Meatballs:
  • 1¼ pounds ground lamb
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup fine fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sunflower seeds, for garnish
  • Pickled chiles, homemade or store-bought, for garnish
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