Yes, it’s cold and snowy out there and I already only want to eat meat until spring, but I also work in New York, where it’s impossible to spend any time at all without having meatballs thrust upon you. (Er, “without encountering meatballs”? “Without reading about them” or “passing a restaurant that has them on the menu”?) Just off the top of my head, there’s The Meatball Shop, a recent meatball feature in The New York Times, Eataly‘s braised brisket meatballs (Woe is me, they’re across the street from my office!) and Deb at Smitten Kitchen happened to run a beautiful post a few weeks ago about Canal House Cooking‘s Scallion Meatballs. So who can blame me for having balls of meat on the brain?
Naturally, I wanted something a little bit different (not Italian, not Asian-inspired), so I searched for lamb meatballs recipe with a middle-eastern riff, which I found from Nigella Lawson/Food Network. Shall we all take a minute here to breathe a contented sigh as we picture the lovely Ms. Lawson? (aaaahhhh)
Her recipes have always worked for me, so tinkering was minimal, limited to replacing the semolina with quinoa flour to make these gluten-free. (Get the recipe here.)
I decided to add a pomegranate glaze just because I wanted a bright contrast to the earthiness of the lamb. It worked so well, it’ll become a permanent part of the rotation, I believe. If it’s not too frou-frou, maybe I’ll even make it for a Super Bowl appetizer (though it won’t go well with the inevitable cheese dip).
But it was a late lunch for us today, so I served it with apricot and caramelized onion brown rice to make a meal of it. The rice was superfluous; we could’ve made an entire meal of the meatballs and lived happily to tell the tale.
recipe after the jump
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
1 4-inch strip of orange zest
2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
Place all ingredients in a small pan and boil until reduced to scant 1/4 cup glaze, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season glaze to taste with salt.
While glaze is still warm, spoon/brush over individual meatballs or place meatballs in a large bowl and toss with the glaze.