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.