Spicy Lamb Meatballs

Everyone must try Chuck Hughes' succulent spicy lamb meatballs mixed in a delicious tomato sauce and topped with creamy goat cheese and parsley.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr 45 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: s: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Meatballs:

1/2 cup/125ml breadcrumbs

1/4 cup/60ml milk

1 pound/450g lean ground lamb

1/2 cup/125ml grated Pecorino cheese

1 tablespoon/15ml Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon/15ml paprika

1 teaspoon/5ml sambal oelek

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, diced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons/45ml olive oil

Sauce:

1 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 carrot, finely diced

1 celery rib, finely diced

1/2 fresh red chile pepper, minced

2 cups/500ml canned tomatoes

4 large fresh tomatoes, diced

2 sprigs fresh oregano

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup/60ml soft goat cheese

A handful fresh parsley, chopped

Naan Bread, recipe follows, warmed and buttered, for serving

Naan Bread:

1 teaspoon/5ml active dry yeast

2 tablespoons/30ml sugar

1 teaspoon/5ml salt

2 1/2 cups/625ml all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface

Canola oil, for the bowl and skillet

1/2 cup/125ml butter, clarified or melted

Directions

  1. For the meatballs: Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumb mixture, lamb, cheese, mustard, paprika, sambal, garlic, shallots and some salt and pepper. Form the mixture into about 20 small meatballs.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the meatballs on all sides until browned. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. For the sauce: In the same skillet, saute the onions until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery and chiles and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the canned and fresh tomatoes, the oregano and 1/4 cup (60ml) water. Season with salt and pepper. Add the meatballs to the skillet and simmer until cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  4. Divide the meatballs among plates and spoon the sauce on top. Add a spoonful of goat cheese and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with Naan Bread.

Naan Bread:

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast with the sugar and salt in 1 cup (250ml) warm water. Let stand until frothy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Flatten the dough with your hands. Divide the dough into 8 pieces, each about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls and place on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  4. Roll one ball of dough into a thin round on a lightly floured surface. Lightly oil a cast-iron skillet and heat until hot. Add the dough and cook until puffy and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and brush the cooked side with butter. Continue cooking until browned, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining dough.
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