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A variation of an Indian recipe I used to make for a client in Santa Barbara.
Easy to put together with just a handful of ingredients and will warm your belly on a chilly spring evening. I always make enough for leftovers, it freezes and thaws beautifully!
2 lbs lamb stew meat
2 medium yellow or white onions, diced
2 heaping tablespoons whole seed mustard (or regular ol’ spicy brown mustard)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste – try tellicherry pepper
2 cups water
In a large, non stick skillet (there are “safer” non stick varieties) heat a portion of the ghee or coconut oil and brown the pieces of meat on all sides, in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan. You want enough space between each piece to allow for good browning. Too crowded and we end up releasing all the juices, instead of getting a good sear on the outside. Set the seared meat aside.
In a large, non stick skillet, heavy bottomed pot (I use my enameled cast iron pot) heat the remaining tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil on medium heat till it begins to shimmer. Add diced onion and sauté until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes.
Add the lamb, and the remaining ingredients, still to combine well, turn heat to low, put the lid on and let it slowly simmer for about 2 hours. Add more liquid as needed. You can cook it in the oven at 325 instead, if you don’t want it simmering on the stove, just make sure your pot and lid are oven proof.
Serve with basmati rice, cauliflower rice, or a baked sweet potato, and a handful of chopped fresh cilantro.
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These little flavor bombs are pure protein and absolutely delicious. No fillers or binders such as nut flour, bread crumbs or eggs are added to this recipe. Not that those additions wouldn’t be delicious, just that this recipe was created for clients who are on a more streamlined eating protocol at the moment. Serve them warm as an appetizer or as a main dish with cauliflower “rice”, or over basmati rice would be great too, paired with a simple vegetable such as fresh steamed string beans or quickly grilled asparagus. They are great as leftovers too!
Notice the specific type of pepper (tellichery) I call for in this recipe. If you are a spice lover, you will appreciate the complex, fruity aromatics of this Indian peppercorn variety, milder than the malabar variety of peppercorn which I also love.
FOR THE MEATBALLS
- 1 lb fresh ground lamb (beef would be great too)
- 3/4 cup onion, diced small
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground telicherry black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (or sub a good quality bottled lemon juice)
Preheat oven to 350F. Sauté the onions in olive oil or avocado oil over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Place the ground meat in a large mixing bowl, add the sauteed onions and the remaining spices and seasonings. Use your clean hands to mix together very well.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the meat mixture into 1.5 inch balls and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes and test one to make sure it has cooked throughout. 15 minutes should definitely do it, but each oven ins a little different. The meatballs will release juices. Carefully remove baking sheet from the oven and let meatballs rest 5 minutes before serving with plenty of pesto.
FOR THE PESTO
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 medium clove fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice – add more to your liking
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients together in a blender or food processor and adjust tastes to your liking.