These beef and lamb meatballs are full of Mediterranean flavors and ingredients. Lemon juice gives them zest, cumin and garlic some heat, and the herbs and capers add a wonderful aroma and brininess to each bite. When cooking, keep in mind that the meatballs will absorb a lot of the juices once they cool, so you want to have enough liquid left in the pan. The sauce is definitely the best part of this dish. Serve these meatballs with a fattoush salad and brown rice or lentils.
Beef and lamb meatballs with lemon & herbs
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 onion minced
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons each Italian parsley fresh mint, and cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons capers chopped
- 1 egg beaten
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- For the Sauce:
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 8 thyme sprigs
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon each of flat leaf parsley, cilantro and mint
Gently mix the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into balls and set aside. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Sear the first half of the meatballs on all sides about 5 minutes. Remove these from the pan, add 1 more tablespoon olive oil and repeat with the second batch of meatballs. When done, set all of the meatballs aside and wipe the pan clean.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the frying pan over medium heat. Saute the sliced garlic and thyme for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, 3 cups of chicken stock, and return the meatballs to the pan. Cover with a lid, and simmer for approximately 25 minutes. At this point, taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings. Since chicken stocks vary in salt content, it is better to taste before adding salt to your sauce to avoid over salting. If there is still too much liquid in the pan, remove the lid to allow the sauce to reduce. Keep in mind that the meatballs will absorb a lot of the juices once they stop cooking, so you want to have enough liquid left in the pan. The sauce is the best part of this dish!
Before serving, top with more parsley, cilantro and mint, a well as a good squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!