Beef & Lamb Meatballs with Spring Peas & Preserved Lemon


Beef & Lamb Meatballs with Spring Peas & Preserved Lemon  |  Basmati Rice

Just one thing before I get into dinner…{it is an illness after all}.  One of my favorite food bloggers, Heidi Swanson @ 101 Cookbooks has a Web pop-up shop called QUITOKEETO featuring culinary {and beyond} treasures.  QUITOKEETO is only open until the few featured gems for sale are sold out.  Regularly featured {and regularly sold out} is a lovely kitchen knife that I have had my eye on for more than a few months.  Becoming an owner of one of these knives has become sport for me…trying to snatch one up before they are sold out.  How happy was I when Heidi announced that  QUITOKEETO would be open for business on Monday morning, April 22nd, at 8:30am {Pacific}?  Very!  But, I had a meeting that began at 8:30am that morning and would last until 10:30am at least.  I thought about putting my husband on the task of securing one of those knives for me but, I decided, that the prize was mine to be had.  If I left my meeting and the knives were sold out it just wasn’t meant to be.

But, this time, Birthday Luck was on my side & I am now the proud owner of a Pallarès Solsana Kitchen Knife as well as a jar of June Taylor Blood Orange Marmalade…the gift box arrived today {lucky, lucky girl}…




Okay…now back to this evening’s dinner ~

Yet another new recipe from Jerusalem, A Cookbook {by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, 2012}.  This meatball dish was spectacular, SO MANY  flavors & herbs, a true Springtime “awakening” dish.  BUT, it takes some time…don’t get me wrong, the recipe is not at all difficult, BUT you will be chopping ~ FOREVER!  The final dish is impressive, just make sure you have an afternoon to prepare…NOT a standard weeknight dish {but, if you are looking to impress someone, go with this recipe!}.  I tried to simplify this recipe a bit {honestly, my family hates fava beans} by using peas as a substitution for the fava beans…saving a few steps.  Here is how it turned out…

Beef & Lamb Meatballs with Peas & Preserved Lemon {adapted from Jerusalem, A Cookbook  by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, 2012}

Baharat Spice Mix:

  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground Allspice
  • 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
  • ½ whole nutmeg, grated

Baharat Collage

Place all of the spices in a spice grinder and grind until a fine powder is achieved.  Leftover spice blend can be stored in an airtight container for up to 8 weeks.

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground organic beef
  • 1 pound ground organic lamb
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Panko
  • 2 tablespoons each finely chopped Italian parsley, mint, dill and cilantro
  • 2 large {or 3 small} cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons baharat spice mix {see below}
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons shopped capers
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Meatball Collage

For the rest of the dish…

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ cups frozen, early spring peas
  • 4 whole thyme sprigs
  • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 8 green onions, sliced into ¾-inch segments
  • ½ of a whole preserved lemon peel, finely chopped
  • 2 cups {homemade} chicken stock
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons each chopped Italian parsley, mint, dill,and cilantro
  1. Place all of the meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Add salt & plenty of black pepper and mix well with your hands.
  2. With a small ice-cream scoop, form  meatball mixture into uniform balls.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet for which you have a lid.  Sear half of the meatballs, turning them until they are brown all over, about 5 minutes.  Remove, add another 1½ teaspoons of the olive oil to the pan and cook another batch of the meatballs.  Continue until all of the meatballs have been cooked.  Remove the final batch of meatballs from the pan and wipe it clean.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in the same pan that you seared the meatballs.  Add the thyme, garlic, green onion and preserved lemon & sauté for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Return the meatballs to the skillet and add the stock.  Cover the pan and simmer gently for 25 minutes.  Taste the sauce and adjust the  seasoning.  If it is very runny, remove the lid and reduce the liquid a bit.  Once the meatballs stop cooking, they will soak up a lot of the juices, so make sure there is enough sauce at this point.  You can leave the meatballs, at this point, off the heat, until ready to serve.Just before serving, reheat the meatballs and add a bit of water, if needed, to get enough sauce.  Add the remaining herbs & the peas.  Stir very gently.  Serve immediately.

Meatball Sauce Collage

And the final dinner plate…


Have a Great Evening…See you tomorrow!



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