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Sweet and Spicy Sesame Lamb Meatballs

Updated February 23, 2016
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For some reason, our students seem slightly intimidated by the thought of ground lamb, probably because its availability in the United States has been limited. But with the growing popularity of lamb, ground lamb can now be found in almost any good butcher shop. For these meatballs, we take advantage of its wonderful flavor by pairing it up with a Middle Eastern mix of spices and tossing them in an orange chutney glaze.

Make-ahead: The uncooked meatballs can be prepared 1 day ahead, covered loosely, and chilled. You can also freeze the uncooked meatballs in one layer on a baking sheet until solid, and then transfer them to a freezer bag where they will keep for a month. Thaw them in the refrigerator on a baking sheet and then bake as directed.

Tip: If you can’t find ground lamb in your local butcher shop, ask your butcher to grind up some lamb shoulder for you. Any good butcher will be happy to do it.

Cooking Methodbaking

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCocktail Party, Family Get-together, game day

Recipe Coursehors d'oeuvre

Dietary Considerationhors d'oeuvre

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturecreamy, meaty, spiced, tangy

Ingredients

  • 1½ teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • ½ cup fine fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup chutney (use your favorite)
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • Cucumber and Cilantro Yogurt Dip, for serving

Instructions

Heat the oil in a small, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the salt, cumin, cayenne, allspice, and cinnamon. Add the lamb, breadcrumbs, egg, and sesame seeds and combine well. Form the mixture into ¼-inch meatballs, arranging them on a tray.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Bake the meatballs in the upper third of the oven until golden and just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the chutney and orange juice in a large saucepan. Toss in the cooked meatballs and stir gently to coat. Remove the meatballs to a warm serving platter and serve with the yogurt dip.

 

Notes
Make-ahead: The uncooked meatballs can be prepared 1 day ahead, covered loosely, and chilled. You can also freeze the uncooked meatballs in one layer on a baking sheet until solid, and then transfer them to a freezer bag where they will keep for a month. Thaw them in the refrigerator on a baking sheet and then bake as directed. Tip: If you can’t find ground lamb in your local butcher shop, ask your butcher to grind up some lamb shoulder for you. Any good butcher will be happy to do it.

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