Thursday, January 8, 2015

Lamb and Turkey Meatballs To. Die. For.

Welp, it's been an age since I last posted. We had family in town for four months and between that, the little one, and the holidays, I've have put this here blog on the back burner in a big way. I've been cooking my fanny off, however, so I hope to give you some insight into the more notable culinary successes of this holiday season past. 

Well, almost past, because I decided to throw a party this weekend for my daughter's first birthday. Whooo Hooooo, looks like we made it! I'm not even decorating (just a pretty bouquet), or cooking much (we're doing fondue, kinda fun, right?!), or tying to frost a cake (powdered sugar, yo!). We're just letting the babies roam as they may and drinkjng some (spiked) hot apple cider! For Jon and me, this party is more of an excuse to have all the new folks/parents we've met since Freya was born over. And, as one of my new mom-buds put it, to celebrate having survived the first year. Happy Birthday, Freya!

So, THIS recipe, is one I made for Christmas eve as in my vaguely Italian American family tradition. It's an adaptation of one I posted a while back for Turkey Meatballs adapted from Molto Italiano by Marion Batali. The lamb was an accident, I was rushing at the grocery store and thought it was turkey, but I will never make these without it again. It's so good. Here's the adaptation along with a photo from the first batch I posted (we ate the lamb ones too fast to get a photo opp). They look the same but these taste so much more rich and nuanced. Yum!

Lamb and Turkey Meatballs
Adapted from Mario Batali's Turkey Meatballs from Molto Italiano 
Yield: about 30-40 small meatballs
1.5 lbs ground turkey
1/1.5 lbs ground lamb
1/2 -2/3 cup milk, any fat content you have on hand is fine
2 large eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups bread crumbs or croutons
4 gloves garlic, minced finely
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced finely
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, minced finely
1/2 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 scant Tablespoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 475.

In a large bowl toss whisk the eggs and milk then add the bread crumbs, garlic, rosemary, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Let the bread get hydrated by the milk. Add the meat and gently massage it with your fingers or a wooden spoon. Your don't want to overwork the meat, but you do want to get all the lumps and knots of meat kneaded out, the two kinds of meat combined, and the whole mass worked into a fluffy (ish) consistency.

Gently roll a heaping tablespoon of the mixture between wet palms to shape. Be careful to use a light touch and not pack the meat together into a hard ball. Place each meatball just a little apart from the next in a casserole dish coated with olive oil.

Once the meatballs are all formed. Cook them for 15 minutes at 475. While they're cooking, make a simple sauce or doctor up a jarred one. 

After 15 minutes remove the meatballs from the oven and reduce the heat to 350. Toss the meatballs in the sauce and bake for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour (read: braise!). Garnish with chopped parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve hot with crusty bread and al dente spaghetti. So good!!!