You know the best part about cooking, other than eating the finished product, someone could cook something different every single day for the rest of their lives and never repeat a dish. There is so much that one can learn about the art of cooking. Personally, I love reading lots of different recipes and combining what I consider to be the best elements to make my own version. However, that takes much less skill and bravery than my mom’s method. On a regular basis, mom will look into the cabinets, the fridge, and the freezer and just grab whatever is in there. This approach has created some of my family’s favorite dishes, from the lemon chicken to the Greek chicken w/buttery pasta and today’s featured food, half and half lamb and ground beef meatballs. My family has eaten this on several occasions, including Christmas I think. I also cooked this for a wonderful meal with the Browne family (minus Mack, plus grandparents). This pairs really well with a sauce that my mom also has honed over the years, homemade tzatiki, which I’ll post another time.
The result: 14-20 half and half lamb and ground beef meatballs
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 pound ground beef (as low fat as possible)
- 1 onion, diced small
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
- Fresh mint, chopped pretty finely
- 1 cup brown rice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tbsp Oregano
- 1 large egg
- Lemon juice to taste
- 1/2 bottle red wine (I used a merlot, a dryer wine would probably be better)
Cook the rice according to directions until al dente, the rice will cook additionally with the meatballs so it shouldn’t be cooked all-the-way through, but it shouldn’t be hard either. Combine meat, onion, garlic, fresh mint, parsley, oregano, cooked and cooled rice, egg, and some salt and pepper, mix well. The meat gives off a really good smell when you have reached the right balance of ingredients and flavors. Form meat mixture into meatballs, 2-3 per person is usually filling enough with sides. In a large pan, heat olive oil to sear the meatballs. Try to sear at least 2 sides, ideally all of them. As long as the oil is hot enough, the searing shouldn’t take much longer than a minute. After adding all the meatballs, I turn the heat up to make sure the oil stays hot when I turn the meatballs over. After meatballs are seared, pour half a bottle of wine into pan and cover with a lid with the heat on medium low. Cook for about 15-20 minutes without lifting the lid, then uncover the meatballs and squeeze some lemon juice over the meatballs and then turn them. Cover with a lid and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and it’s ready to serve. The broth from the meat/wine is a really good gravy for mashers or to give ample liquid to the meatballs. Enjoy!