22 April 2007

Turkish Meat Balls


Weekend herb blogging #79 is hosted at What did you eat?, and dried mint and lemon myrtle take their part in these Turkish meat balls.

Meat balls are one of the most common ways of eating meat at Turkish homes. They are especially liked by children. Spices can vary from person to person, but cumin and black pepper are the main ingredients. Dried thyme is also popular.
I always use cumin and dried mint, and may add quite a few other spices according to my mood. My recent additions are a North African spice mix called the Ras-el-hanout, and the Australian herb lemon myrtle (online order available at Spice Bazaar). I often make a big batch, and freeze some. Ask for double-minced lamb from your butcher, if you are after nice textured meat balls.

Meat balls are often served with rice, and often a tomato-based salad. This time, I served with Italian firm polenta, spicy tomato chutney, and beetroot salad.

1 kilo double-minced lamb
1 large brown onion, chopped finely
2 slices of bread
2 tablesp dried mint (& 1 teasp lemon myrtle, if using)
1 teasp, each of salt, black pepper, cumin and sweet paprika
1/2 cup fresh parsley (optional)
other spices (optional)
vegetable/olive oil for shallow-frying

Place bread in a bowl and cover with water. Once it soaks the water, squeeze the bread well to get rid of the water.

Press on the chopped onion to get rid of extra liquid. In a large bowl, add onion, bread, spices and herbs; and mix well. Add meat, and knead well. Make small patties.

Shallow fry in a pan in vegetable or olive oil, initially on high heat, and then at lower heat, until well-cooked.
P.S. If the lamb appears to have too much fat, add one egg to the ingredients.


Sher said...

YUMM!! I love meatballs (who doesn't), and these look delicious. This means I will be making meatballs soon! :):) Thanks for sharing that with us.

Helene said...

I agree with Sher. But I never tried lamb meatballs, so it´s high noon to do it. And beetroot is a favourite of mine!! Thanks for sharing!! :)

Kalyn said...

I love meatballs and this sounds like a very good version. I don't think I've ever seen lemon myrtle, most interesting. Love the idea of using dried mint in the meatballs; I bet that tastes wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Im having a hard time finding minced lamb in Melbourne. Where do you get yours? Address if you please :)

Ceviz said...

Hi Marina, My butcher (and I think most butchers) doesn't sell minced lamb either. So I ask him to mince it for me. For the meatballs, ask it to be double-minced, which makes a finer mince. They may mince using already diced lamb or a nice lamb cut (which is more expensive). If your butcher is not helpful, I'll pass the address of mine. Hope this helps. Good luck!