OK, I have to admit it, I love meatballs. Italian, Asian, and Greek…perfect for an appetizer or dinner. Easy to freeze and pull out when unexpected guests show up. So here are two of my favorite Greek ones.
The meatballs should be cruchy on the outside but soft and moist in the middle.
- 500g of mincemeat
- ½ grated onion
- 1 large grated tomato
- 1 tsp of cumin
- 1 handful of chopped mint or a tbsp of dried mint
- 1 tbsp of brown flour
- 3 drops of water
- Fine semolina
- Sunflower oil
- Mix the mincemeat, onion, tomato, cumin and mint in a bowl with your hands. Add the flour and mix again and finally add the drops of water.
- Shape a small handful of mince into a ball and roll into the semolina until they are completely covered. Shake off any excess semolina.
- Fry in 3cm of very hot sunflower oil in a wok or deep frying pan for 3-4 minutes until they have browned. Place on kitchen roll before serving.
Makes 15 meatballs
Crispy Lamb Meatballs
Serves eight to ten. Yields 30 to 35 meatballs.
- 1-1/2 oz. (about 1-1/2 slices) good artisan-style bread
- 1/2 lb. ground lamb
- 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1-1/2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint; more for garnish
- 1 Tbs. finely grated Greek kefalotyri cheese or good-quality pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 cloves garlic, mince1 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Kosher or fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flou2 to 3 cups olive oil for frying
Remove the bread crusts and save for testing the frying oil temperature. Put the bread slices in a small bowl and add enough water to soak the bread through (about 1/4 cup). With your hands, squeeze the water out of the bread and tear it into small pieces into a medium bowl. Add the lamb, onion, egg, mint, cheese, garlic, oregano, cinnamon, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper to the bread and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
With the palms of your hands, roll the meat mixture into 1-inch balls (about 1-1/2 tsp. per ball). Spread the flour on a baking sheet and gently roll the balls in the flour until well covered. Transfer to a plate, shaking off excess flour.
Pour the oil into a 12-inch skillet to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it begins to ripple and bubbles immediately when a piece of bread crust is dipped into it. Add the meatballs in a single layer and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp and brown on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer the meatballs to a plate lined with paper towels and let cool slightly.
Arrange the meatballs on a platter, sprinkle with the remaining mint, and serve warm.
Make Ahead Tips
You can make the meatball mixture up to a day ahead. You can shape the meatballs up to an hour ahead; fry them close to serving. Keep warm in a 200°F oven until ready to serve.