Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Herbs + Yogurt

Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Herbs + Yogurt

The first time I made this I used turkey, and, while the flavors were nice, it was far too clear that the texture could be greatly improved. The robust sauce was calling for a fattier, more flavorful meat, so then came lamb to take over the starring role. You can swap out the lamb for beef, or if you're really into it, you can revert back to my much less preferred turkey. Either way, it'll be good, because this sauce is packed full with flavor. 





For the Meatballs:

1/2 Cup bread crumbs
1 Pound ground lamb
2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 Teaspoons ground cumin
1 Teaspoon ground ginger
2 Teaspoons ground coriander
1 Teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 Chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 Cup chopped cilantro
1/4 Cup chopped mint
VERY generous salt
Black pepper
Zest of one lemon
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 Egg, whisked well


1/4 Cup dried currants                                                                                                                                1/4 Cup Greek yogurt or Labneh
1 28oz Can crushed tomatoes
1 Yellow onion
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 Cinnamon sticks
1/4 Cup cilantro
1 Teaspoon za'taar
1/4 Cup parsley
1 Teaspoon cumin
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Teaspoon paprika
1 Teaspoon Harissa paste
1 Lemon, 2 peels and remaining zest 


To make:

Add all meatball ingredients into a bowl and mix until just combined. Make sure that you season generously, make mixture into balls and set aside. 

In a medium bowl add currants, one cup of boiling water and red wine vinegar, set aside.

Sautée onions and garlic in olive oil with salt until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, spices, harissa, and lemon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 25 minutes, until sightly reduced and very flavorful. Mix in the remaining zest of lemon into yogurt, set aside. Place meatballs in a large sauté pan with one tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until brown, about 5- 7 minutes. Add meatballs to sauce and serve with fresh herbs and a spoonful of lemon yogurt.