Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Moroccan-Style Lamb Meatballs

I've prepared this recipe for dinner by forming the meat mixture into larger balls, and for party fare by preparing smaller meatballs and serving with cucumber raita (primal). It is delicious either way. If you are not a fan of lamb, feel free to substitute your favorite ground meat. This is especially good with coconut curry kale.

Adapted from jensgonepaleo.

Makes about 42 appetizer-sized bites or 12 one-inch meatballs.

2 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 red onion, very finely chopped
1 lb ground lamb
3 large garlic cloves, crushed through a press
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped, plus sprigs for garnish
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 Tbsp almond flour (optional)
lemon wedges for squeezing and for garnishing

NOTE: To save time, you can pulse onion in food processor, wipe it out and then pulse garlic, parsley, and mint.

  1. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, or until very soft. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
  2. While onion mixture cooks, combine lamb, garlic, eggs, parsley, chopped mint, cumin, cinnamon, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Add cooled onions. Combine thoroughly with a wooden spoon or your hands. 
  3. Using your hands or a small scoop, form the mixture into balls the size of a walnut (for party fare) or larger (for dinner). I use a melon baller to form the perfect bite-size meatballs for dipping and a cookie batter scoop for dinner-sized meatballs. 
  4. Place on prepared baking sheet fitted with a rack or use a water broiler.
  5. Preheat broiler. Place meatballs about 4 inches from heat, turning once with tongs, until brown and crispy on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer meatballs to a platter or chafing dish.
  6. Just before serving, squeeze lemon juice over the meatballs and garnish with the remaining lemon wedges and mint sprigs.