Greek Meatballs

I found this recipe in the weekend edition of the Wall St. Journal as good “noshing” food for New Year’s and had to give it a try, with a few minor changes.

It comes from chef Michael Symon of the Parea Greek restaurant in New York and Lola & Lolita Bistro in Cleveland. The meatballs are quite tasty and work well dipped in a little yogurt.

  • Prep: 10 minutes
  • Cook: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 20 meatballs

Meatballs can also be cooked ahead, refrigerated and reheated in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 4 ounces salt pork or bacon, ground or finely minced
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Greek yogurt for dipping

Method

1 Soften shallots, jalapeño, garlic: Heat a small pan over medium heat and add oil, minced garlic, jalapeño and shallot, and cook for 1 minute, then let cool.

2 Make meatball mixture: Meanwhile, crumble lamb into a large bowl. Evenly scatter the salt pork (or bacon), orange zest and mint over lamb, and season with pepper. Sprinkle the cooled garlic mixture over lamb.

3 Form meatballs: Gently mix until just combined, then form into 1¼-inch balls and transfer to a plate or sheet pan.

4 Brown meatballs on all sides: Heat a large cast iron pan over medium to medium high heat. Working in batches if necessary to prevent crowding, brown meatballs on all sides until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve warm with toothpicks or skewers with plain yogurt.

Main Ingredients

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