Full disclosure, Lamb is not my favorite. I can tolerate it, but for the money, it’s just not my favorite! I think this recipe will be great with Poultry, Chicken or Turkey. (Let you know when I try it. Or let me know if you try it!) My family absolutely loves it so sometimes you have to make the sacrifice to appease the gods! All three of them love lamb! Luckily for them, we found a market in the city that has ground lamb for $5.99 per pound, a dollar more a pound than 90% beef. We’ve had lamb burgers a few times recently so I decided to try something different. I am quite fond of coconut curries so I thought I’d try that. These lamb meatballs are fantastic! Subtle, smooth curry sauce added greatly to the dish. The contrast of savory, hot and sweet together is irresistible, as well.
Grating the onion and garlic is far superior to dicing because you don’t get large chunks in your finished meatballs
Mix by hand. Try not to overwork it or the meat will become crushed and tough. There should still be visual chunks of ground meat.
Scoop out portions of meat with a cookie scoop, if you have one. It will help to make the size of the meatballs more consistent and keep you from over-rolling the meatballs.
Place rolled meatballs on plate until they are all rolled.
Brown in a very hot skillet with a splash of olive oil. I consciously browned the meatballs in a pan this time because I wanted the flavor of the meat for the sauce. Certainly browning them in the pan greatly added to the flavor of the sauce BUT the lamb was overdone. The next time I make them I will brown the meatballs in the oven and reserve a bit of lamb to brown in the pan to add that flavor. While the meatballs are browning, you have time to make the spice mix, Ras El Hanout, a North African spice mixture that I first saw on Jamie Oliver’s show. He made a Lamb Tagine with it and I have to say it is my favorite way to make Lamb. Try it!
Mix the rest of the spices together in a bowl and set aside.
Keep turning the meatballs until brown on all sides. (Again, I’m going to bake next time!)
Remove meatballs to a clean plate.
Dice onion and slice mushrooms
Saute onions in a large pan. When they are golden brown, add sliced mushrooms.
Saute onions and mushrooms until mushrooms are soft and beginning to turn golden.
Add coconut milk, chick peas and Ras el hanout. Cook, stirring until slightly thickened.
Cook couscous according to package directions.
When Couscous is done, add meatballs back to the pan, just to warm. Add spinach, stirring just until wilted. Serve immediately!
This is very delicious and I am definitely making it again!
I made these meatballs yesterday and didn’t have enough lamb left to feed the whole family so I used 1 pound of ground pork and 1/2 pound of ground lamb. We actually like them better, they were less done! I baked the meatballs instead of frying, like I suggested I would above, the sauce really didn’t suffer too much from not having the pan drippings. I was also out of couscous so I substituted rice. It was just as tasty! Other baked meatballs that are great are Orange Cranberry Meatballs!
A spicy Mediterranean twist for lamb!
- 2 tsp . Olive Oil.
- 1 lb . Ground Lamb
- 1 Tbsp . Chopped Fresh Parsley
- 2 Tbsp . Grated Onion
- 1 clove Grated Garlic
- 1/2 tsp . Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp . Pepper
- 1/2 tsp . Cumin
- 1/2 tsp . Oregano
- 1/4 c . dried Breadcrumbs
- 1 Egg , beaten
- 1/2 c . finely Chopped Onion
- 1 1/2 c . sliced Mushrooms
- 1 can Coconut Milk
- 1 c . Beef Broth
- 1 Tbsp . Ras-El-Hanout spice mixture. Click link for recipe from epicurious.com.
- 1 Tbsp . Salt
- 1 Tbsp . Cornstarch
- 1 can Garbanzos
- 1-2 c . Baby Spinach
- 1 1/4 c . Couscous
- 2 tsp . Salt
- 1 tsp . cinnamon
- 1 3/4 c . Water
- 1/4 c . Raisins
Place lamb in a medium bowl.
Chop Parsley and add to lamb.
Grate onion and garlic directly into the lamb bowl to retain all the juices.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with hands until well combined. Try not to overwork.
Using a cookie scoop, form the lamb mixture into approximately 1 1/2" balls.
Bring Olive Oil up to temperature in a large heavy bottom frying pan (Very hot but not yet smoking).
Brown meatballs in batches until golden. Brown quickly to avoid overcooking the lamb. Alternatively, Meatballs can be browned in the oven 10- 15 minutes depending on the size of the balls.
Remove from heat to a plate. Set aside.
In the same pan you browned the meatballs in, saute' onions until soft.
Add garlic and saute' for another minute or two.
Add mushrooms and saute' until mushrooms are slightly brown around the edges and have given off their juices.
Add Beef broth, Coconut Milk, Salt and Ras-El-Hanout. and cook along for 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
Whisk Corn Starch with 1/4 c. warm water. Add to Curry mixture and whisk.
Reduce heat and cook for another 3-4 minutes to eliminate the corn starch flavor.
Add Garbanzos, heat through for another couple minutes.
Add Spinach and Meatballs turning over the mixture until Spinach has wilted and Meatballs are heated through.
Remove from heat. Serve immediately over Couscous.
Bring Water to boiling. Add remaining ingredients and bring back to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer 10-12 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed
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Originally Published 11/30/2014