Greek Meatballs

Print

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.

Greek Meatballs Recipe

Print

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, ground or finely minced
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Greek yogurt for dipping

Method

greek-meatballs-1.jpg greek-meatballs-2.jpg

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

2 Meanwhile, crumble lamb into a large bowl. Evenly scatter salt pork, orange zest and mint over lamb, and season with pepper. Sprinkle the cooled garlic mixture over lamb. Gently mix until just combined, then form into 1¼-inch balls and transfer to a plate or sheet pan.

greek-meatballs-3.jpg greek-meatballs-4.jpg

3 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.

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

Makes about 20 meatballs.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Greek Meatballs on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

Print

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Showing 4 of 13 Comments

  • Taryn

    We were looking for something to do with about a pound of ground beef so made these with beef, no pork or orange and substituted oregano for the mint (though now that we’ve had it we think mint would have still worked well with the beef). We added about a quarter cup breadcrumbs, a teaspoon mustard powder and a teaspoon red pepper flakes. We baked them at 400 for 15 minutes on a slotted pan instead of pan frying since we knew we’d have more fat in our beef. They were a bit fragile, so I think next time we’d add an egg or soak the breadcrumbs in some milk or something. We served them up in pita pockets with cucumber slices, a homemade tzatziki and smoked paprika.

  • Kristie

    I have made regular meatballs and have been wanting to a Greek version. These turned out great! I think sauteing the garlic, jalapeño and shallot adds extra flavor. Love this recipe and will make it again.

  • Sara

    My father is Greek and my mother is Jewish, and my I lived for a while with a Muslim Turk, so I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out how to substitute for pork in Greek dishes. :)

    The best thing to do is get the fattiest cut of lamb you can. Next, trim the fat into very small pieces, and brown them in a pan until crispy. (And use the meat for whatever) This will also work with chicken skins. Drain off the fat and reserve it. The resulting crispy bits are very similar to bacon. I’m not really sure what “salt pork” is, but if it’s similar to bacon, then this should work for that as well. For a more bacony flavor, add a TINY amount of “liquid smoke” (also great for beef jerky), but be careful; a little goes a very long way.

  • Linda

    These sound great but we don’t eat pork. Do you think these would work with lamb and beef or lamb and veal?

    This recipe calls for a pound of lamb and 4 ounces of salt pork. The salt pork is for the fat and flavoring, like bacon. I do not know of a non-pork substitute for salt pork. (Which is not to say there isn’t one, it’s just that I’m unfamiliar with it.) I suggest looking around for other Greek meatball recipes to see what combination of meats they use. ~Elise

  • Carl Schiötz

    The method Jonathan’s describes above for making Greek-style yogurt works very well. If you do not have cheese cloth at home, you can just use the paper filter and cone from your drip coffee maker. Makes excellent thick yogurt.

View More Comments / Leave a Comment