Lamb Meatballs with Quinoa and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Many of us turn to the same staples for every holiday or Shabbat meal: chicken, brisket, salmon. Here’s a recipe to get you out of the holiday-entree rut and spice things up. Lamb makes for tender meatballs, and the tart pomegranates (perfect for Rosh Hashanah!), garlicky spinach and sweet red sauce make it more than just your ordinary meatball dish. Plus, with the meatballs made and served with quinoa, the dish is gluten-free and appropriate for Passover, as well as the other holidays, of course.
- 1/3 cup ¼-inch diced red onion
- ¼ cup diced scallions
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 4 teaspoons cumin
- 4 large eggs
- 4 pounds ground lamb
- Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- 4 red peppers
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- ¼ teaspoon chili pepper flakes
- ¼ cup honey
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- To Serve
- Cooked quinoa
- 1–2 medium pomegranates, seeded
- Sautéed spinach with garlic
- Meatballs: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix together onions, scallions, quinoa, sea salt, black pepper, herbes de Provence, oregano, cumin and eggs until well blended with a spatula. Place meat in large metal bowl, and then add in quinoa mix, stirring or kneading for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not overmix, or meatballs will become stringy and tough!
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form golf-ball-sized meatballs, slightly less than ¼ cup each. Place on the sheet tray, and flatten slightly. Bake for about 9 to 12 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Do not overcook.
- Roasted Red Pepper Sauce: Preheat oven to 450 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet. Halve peppers, deseed and place on pan. Roast in the oven until the skin is blistering and turns dark brown and black and the peppers are soft, about a half an hour. Remove from oven and cool; skin will come off easy just by peeling off with your fingers. Chop the peppers coarsely and mix with stock, herbes de Provence, pepper flakes, honey and salt and pepper to taste in a pot. Bring to a boil. Mix a teaspoon of cornstarch and a tablespoon of cold water. Add to the sauce simmer for 5 minutes to thicken.
- To Serve: Stir together quinoa and pomegranate arils. Serve plated (quinoa with pomegranates on the bottom, then some sautéed spinach, then 4 to 5 meatballs per plate, topped with red pepper sauce) or family-style, letting people serve themselves.