Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Tahini Yogurt Sauce
I’m a huge fan of meatballs. They are an easy weeknight meal because they can take on a variety of flavors and take less than 15 minutes to cook. On the meatball episode of Butter & Jam podcast, we talked about meatballs from all over the world and this recipe is no exception.
I adapted this recipe from The New York Times and love the combination of Moroccan and Middle Eastern spices with the ground lamb. Feel free to substitute the meat with beef, chicken, or turkey, but the lamb is definitely worth it if you can find it. These meatballs would be perfectly complemented by grilled eggplant, a salad, and rice. And don’t sleep on the tahini yogurt sauce!
Yields: 4 servings
3 tsp olive oil, divided
1 shallot, chopped
1 pound ground lamb
⅓ cup breadcrumbs
1.5 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
For the sauce:
1 clove of garlic, grated
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp yogurt
1 tsp olive oil
Dash of smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Herbs (cilantro, dill, parsley, or mint) and Feta for serving
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tsp of olive oil and cook the shallots until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, add the ground lamb, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, egg, and cooked shallots. Mix everything together by hand until it is well-combined.
Using a small ice cream scoop, portion and roll the meatballs into the size of golf balls (about 20). In the same skillet you used for the shallots, heat up the remaining 2 tsp of olive oil. Cook the meatballs until they are browned on all sides, about 3-5 minutes per side. Place the meatballs in an ovenproof pan to keep warm and finish cooking.
To prepare the tahini yogurt sauce, combine the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, yogurt, olive oil, smoked paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
To serve, spread the tahini yogurt sauce on a plate and top with the warm meatballs. Sprinkle with chopped herbs and feta.