Sunday, March 10, 2019

Persian Lamb Meatballs with Mint Raisin Pesto (GF) (DF) خوشمزه - لذیذ

The plan was to make Bon Appétit’s lamb meatballs as shown on the video by Senior Food Editor Andy Baraghani, and then do a taste comparison with one of new imitation meat products, Beyond Meat.

The lamb meatballs were amazing! They vanished from our plates in a flash. Andy’s knowledge of Iranian flavors are always spot on. You can watch him make the meatballs here.

Sorry to say, I couldn’t quite get with the imitation meat, so I froze it to pass on to a vegan friend. I’ve heard great things about the product, so if you do get around to trying it with these meatballs, please let me know how they turned out.

My Paleo Marin: 5 Persimmons


For the Meatballs:
Image from
Amazon here

1/4 cup gluten-free panko, preferably Ian’s Original brand
1 large egg
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal brand
1 peeled garlic clove, minced on a fine grater
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 pound ground lamb

For the Pesto:

2 cups fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons soft golden raisins (soaked in warm water and drained if not soft to the touch)
Big pinch of salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For Serving: Greek Yogurt (Kite Hill for non-dairy); Parsley sprigs


For the Meatballs:

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

1. In a large bowl, add the following ingredients in this order and mix after each addition: panko, egg, olive oil, spices, salt, garlic, parsley. Add the lamb and combine with your fingers just until everything is mixed together.

2. Using a heaping tablespoon (for small meatballs about the size of a golf ball) or 1/4 cup measuring cup (for larger meatballs), scoop out the lamb mixture. Gently and very loosely roll into a ball and place on a rimmed cookie sheet evenly spaced apart. Do not overmix! Mixture makes about 20 small or 15 large meatballs.

3. Place in heated oven and cook until the meat is cooked through. Original recipe said for 8-10 minutes for smaller meatballs. My old gas oven took 20 minutes for smaller ones and 25 for larger size so adjust time according to your oven. On an instant read thermometer, meat should register 140 degrees F. for wet meatballs and 165 degrees F. if you like them dry.

For the Pesto:

1. Puree the mint, raisins, salt and olive oil in a blender until smooth. Taste for salt. Put in a container and set aside. Note: Can be made 2 days ahead.

For Serving:

On individual serving plates, add a couple dollops of yogurt topped with the mint pesto. Place the meatballs on top while hot and add parsley for garnish.

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Recipe adapted from the Bon Appetite website here

My Paleo Marin Rating 1-5 Persimmons
I try out these recipes so you don't have to (and modify them for Paleo where possible). The rating will reflect my opinion of the final result in terms of taste, ease of preparation, nutrition, and sometimes, cost.

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