Lamb meatballs with sun-dried tomato polenta

Don’t be sheepish, it’s easy

Originally appeared in the December 08, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

Ah, meatballs—those savory spheres of gastronomic goodness.  But sometimes a subtle change of pace is nice.  With a slight deviation in your typical butcher-counter encounter, you could easily trade out the ground beef for something a little more exotic.  Lamb offers just enough personality to wake up a plate without overpowering your palate.  More after the jump:Construct your lamb balls like you would a classic meatball.  You can even use a bit of milk on your hands to help keep the meat moist (for more on this particular technique, check out the classic meatball recipe on my website).

I’ve selected a rich starch to compliment the lamb meatballs—polenta: a ground cornmeal dish that can be served in a variety of ways.  Today, I’m going for a loose consistency, sort of a coarse, mashed potato texture.  Because the polenta is an ideal “blank canvas” for flavor infusion, try out your own ingredients to give a personal touch (feta cheese and chopped Kalamata olives, come to mind; or maybe something sweet, like raisins or dates).

So next time you’re standing in front of the curved glass at the meat counter, bypass the familiar bank of ground beef and seek out the ground lamb.  Don’t be sheepish—give it a shot.

Lamb meatballs with sun-dried tomato polenta

Serves 2 – 3

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 garlic cloves, small chop
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • To taste, kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • ½ cup dry polenta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1.  Combine lamb, eggs, garam masala, garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper.  Using a bit of milk on your fingers, roll ground meat into 2-inch balls.  Meanwhile, heat a wide sauté pan over medium-high heat.  When balls are complete, add a touch of oil to pan; add lamb balls.  Sear until meat is browned on all sides.  Lower heat, cover and allow to cook through (about 15 minutes).

2.  In a medium-sized saucepan, combine milk and sun-dried tomatoes.  Bring to gentle simmer.  Pour in dry polenta, and whisk until smooth (you may want to add just a little extra milk to loosen the polenta).  Add butter at very end.  Season with salt and pepper, and serve with lamb meatballs and vegetable of choice.

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Published in: on December 8, 2011 at 9:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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