Lamb is my favorite meat, period. Yes, I know, pork has more cuts and fat;that i can cook it and all its bits in so many ways…but i love all things lamb…spicy sausages, charred chops, braised shoulder…too me man can live on lamb alone…
As we here in the UK are already having wonderful late sunsets that keep us outside till almost nine pm…there is nothing better than a light dinner of meatballs and sauce and a salad on the side after a great day in the sun…Why, because they can be made ahead of time, grilled if you want, baked, and fit my craving for something i can pick up and pop in my mouth while drinking a nice chilled rose as the sun is fallin!!!
The idea here is you can simply make the mix and do a variety of things from that point. One, you can put them in the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes and they will be happily medium rare, and be ready to eat. As well you may take these and freeze on a flat surface in the freezer now and then when frozen, toss em in a storage bag…and take out whenever you like for quick snacks. As well you may pass on the healthy baking option and get even more flavour by firing up the grill and finding a nice warm spot ( and one that is very clean and oiled) place the meatballs on the grill and enjoy as a nice appetizer at a bbq or with some nice garlicy grilled bread and the sauce that will follow in next entry…
You may be wondering why I am not frying my meatballs in a pan…yes they taste great that way…but to me…there is enough fat in the meatballs, so to keep it a bit healthy and to lessen the number of pans in use…i go for bake or grill. As well most people add a bit of bread crumbs to the mix…usually I add a bit of panko (Japanese style bread crumbs), but I have been trying to always incorporate whole grains, so this time i tossed in some leftover cooked millet to add body, balance, and a great texture.
WHAT YOU NEED
OVEN AT 395
2 # GROUND LAMB (or any other meat, or mix)
2 Eggs ( helps binding process and adds moisture)
4 CLOVES GARLIC( can mix half and half with ginger or shallots as well for more spicey feel) ( smashed with side of knife to lose the skin, then keep smashing till you have a paste…sprinkle salt on crushed cloves of garlic to help them crush better…kind of like sand paper effect…as you smash garlic with side of knife drag the knife across the cutting board…dragging ever finer bits of garlic with you…)
1 large red onion ( any color onion will do…dice as fine as you can…or pulse in a food processor, pulse lightly a few moments to do the equivilant of lots of chopping, not puree!!!)
1-2 cups MILLET (Or cooked rice, quinoa, etc…As much as you like to balance the meat and texture)
1t spices ( this is where you can have some fun…spicy blend add chile powder, cumin, and cayenne…or add crushed cumin, coriander, turmeric and chile powder for more curry esque flavour…or simply add some paprika)
1/2 cup fresh herbs(parsley and or cilantro preferred), choppedfine
BOLD METHODS (and commentary)
In large bowl mix meat with garlic and onions till incorporated ( over mixing is not only unnessary, but will lead to a heavier meatball).
Add egg and dried spices ( quick mix…only a few stroked of spoon, or smashes with your clean hands)
Add millet and fresh herbs ( again only a few gentle squeezes with your clean hands…this is not one of those finger licking recipes, sorry)
Heat a small frying pan on stovetop
Make one small lamb-ball, flatten and heat in oiled fry pan till cooked (this is your tester, since you cant taste the mix raw to know if the final product is correct…so try one, if it is to your likin…rock on…if not…add what you like…more salt, more herbs, other spices…and then fry another one…NO…dont keep eating meatballs all day…now you know why they say, never trust a skinny chef!!!)
Lightly oil a large baking tray ( or any vessel you can fit into your oven) or heat up the grill!!!
Clean up your workspace: all you need is your bowl of lamb, a small bowl of water, and your baking sheet.
With clean wet hands start taking large spoonfuls of lamb mix (i suggest 2oz portions which should be about two bites, or small enough to still be toothpick friendly for a fancy appetizers, and two finger pick up for more of a friends free for all!) and lightly rolling them between the palms of your hand to make a smooth ball…and place on baking sheet…repeat…again and again ( washing hands as necessary to keep clean and wet so the meatballs do not stick to your hands).
Place meatballs on greased baking sheet (Dont crowd them…we all need space to breath) in preheated oven and bake for 5-10 minutes, turning one time ( 5 minutes will give you just cooked ones so you can freeze and then reheat, chill and reheat, or let rest and they will still be medium rare…10 minutes should make them perfect to eat straight from the oven…)
take em out…pop in yer mouth and enjoy…with the upcoming sauce recipe…