Meatballs are a great party food. Bite sized yet full of flavour, they’re also a great vehicle for many different kinds of dips. When I saw a package of minced lamb from Milkhouse Farm and Dairy in my Holiday Farmers’ Feast basket from the Ottawa Farmers’ Market, I knew it was destined for meatballs. Many recipes call for semolina, regular flour or even oats as a binder to hold the meatballs together but I opted to use a Bekings egg plus Barkley’s Apple Orchard’s Heritage Corn flour to keep things local and on the lighter side. Meatballs are so easy to prepare and you can freeze them either raw or cooked. Either way, they’re sure to be a hit at your next gathering.
- 1 pound (454 g) minced lamb
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely minced scallions (green onions)
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) Acorn Creek BBQ Rub Spice Blend *
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) corn flour (not cornstarch) or semolina or whole wheat flour
- 1 egg, well beaten
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) plan yogurt or sour cream
- 1 – 2 teaspoons (5 – 10 mL) BBQ Rub Spice Blend *
* Acorn Creek BBQ Rub is a delicious combination of various seasonings plus a little salt. You can use any rub you like, provided it is not too sweet, or your own spicy concoction – look for flavours that complement the lamb like garlic, oregano, chilies, etc.
- In a large bowl, combine the lamb, scallions, BBQ Rub and corn flour. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix until well blended.
- Add beaten egg and mix until well blended.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flour to become hydrated.
- While meatball mixture is resting, combine yogurt and spice blend to create dipping sauce.
- Shape into small meatballs (about an inch / 2.5 cm in diameter). At this point, they can be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours or frozen (see below).
- To fry, add just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a sturdy skillet. Warm oil over medium heat then add meatballs in batches to avoid overcrowding until well browned.
- Turn often as they cook, using two forks, to ensure the meatballs brown evenly on all sides. To be certain they are cooked, check internal temperature with a digital food thermometer – meatballs should be at least 150F.
- Briefly drain meatballs on a paper-towel lined baking tray then keep warm in a 250F oven until all are cooked.
- Serve meatballs warm, with yogurt dipping sauce on the side.
- To reheat cooked meatballs, place on a baking tray and heat in a 325F oven until hot.
Note: uncooked meatballs can be placed on a parchment-lined tray and frozen; transfer to a sturdy ziplock bag and keep frozen for up to three months. Let thaw slightly before frying.
Makes approximately 24 meatballs