Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Keftedes (Greek Meatballs) in Spicy Tomato Sauce



Traditional meatballs have never been a big hit in my household. 
Don't ask me why, I don't know.
But put some exotic flair to it, they will be gone in 10 minutes, followed by disappointed grunts because we have none left.
And I have to agree, traditional meatballs just can't hold a candle to these balls of deliciousness. 

It's not by any mean difficult dish to make, but it requires a little bit of time to prepare this dish. The beautiful thing about it, that you can double or triple the batch, freeze the raw meatballs, thaw and cook them whenever you have the hankering for some. 

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely minced
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup flour, for dredging
  • Oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can (28 ounces) pureed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnish
Directions:
  • In a large bowl,  combine meat, onion, half of the garlic, 1 tablespoon of oregano, mint, cinnamon, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture, and roll into a ball. Repeat the process with the remaining meat. You should get about 24 meatballs. 
  • Roll each meatball in flour, place them single layer on a baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, make sure you have enough oil to cover about 1/2 of the height of the meatballs. Fry meatballs in batches, until browned. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to remove excess grease.
  • In a large saucepan, melt butter, add the remaining garlic and chili flakes, sauté until fragrant. Add tomato puree, chicken stock, and 1 tablespoon of oregano. Season sauce with salt and pepper, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce is slightly reduced. 
  • Add meatballs into the sauce, continue cooking for about 5-10 minutes, until the meatballs are coated in sauce. Serve with basmati rice, and garnish with chopped parsley. Tzatziki sauce and Greek salad also make great companion for this dish.

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