These lamb meatballs are a comfort food delight! When you need a little mood boost through the magic of food, few things are better than a plate of meatballs, and this recipe takes things further by pairing lamb with dill for a sensational flavor combination.
Best of all, it's so easy to get right. So, read on to discover how to make this marvelous lamb meatball recipe.
Why you'll love this lamb meatballs recipe
- The flavors are delicious, with a delicious mix of ingredients.
- Juicy lamb meatballs taste even better in a creamy sauce, and this sauce is sublime.
- This recipe makes a wonderful alternative to other meatball in tomato sauce recipes
- They are like Moroccan lamb meatballs – subtly spiced, juicy yet light and delicious
How to make this lamb meatball recipe
You need lamb mince, spring onions, wine, cream, garlic, oil, and cinnamon. Cornstarch is optional.
Place the scallions, cinnamon, pepper, salt and garlic in a big bowl.
Mix until everything is well incorporated.
Roll uniformly-sized meatballs.
Brown the meatballs, then set aside.
Deglaze the pan with wine and let it sizzle for a few minutes before stirring in the stock.
Pour in the cream and stir.
Place the meatballs in the sauce and let the sauce bubble for a few minutes and thicken in the process.
Top with freshly chopped dill and serve immediately on top of pasta. Enjoy!
Don’t reduce the sauce too much because it will become quite salty.
What to serve with lamb meatballs
A fruity Sauvignon Blanc goes wonderfully well with lamb and also has a natural affinity with dill.
Variations and Substitutions
If ground lamb meatballs are not your thing or lamb is unavailable, you can use ground beef, turkey, or chicken as alternatives. The cooking time may vary slightly depending on the meat used.
Make it Creamier
Add crumbled feta cheese to the sauce for a Greek-style flavor. Any other meltable cheese will do.
Substitute heavy cream with coconut cream or a dairy-free cream alternative for a dairy-free version. The flavor will be slightly different but still delicious.
If dill isn’t your favorite, use parsley, cilantro, fresh mint, or a mix of herbs. Fresh herbs are preferable for better flavor, but dried herbs can work in a pinch.
You can use beef or chicken broth if you prefer not to cook with wine. The sauce will have a different flavor profile but will still be tasty.
Add finely diced carrots, celery, or bell peppers to the meatball mixture to incorporate more vegetables. This can also be a great way to sneak in more veggies for kids.
Spice it Up
For those who enjoy a bit of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or a dash of hot sauce to the meatball mixture or the sauce. You could add a teaspoon of ground cumin for a hint of earthy spice.
- Meatball Consistency: Ensure your meatball mixture is not too wet or dry. If it's too wet, the meatballs may fall apart when cooking; if it's too dry, they might turn out tough. Adjust with a bit of water or breadcrumbs as needed. You could even add a spoonful of Greek yogurt.
- Browning Meatballs: Don’t overcrowd the pan when browning the meatballs. This ensures they get a nice sear and don't steam.
- Simmering Sauce: When simmering the sauce, keep it gently to prevent the dairy from curdling and achieve a smooth consistency.
- Taste As You Go: Always taste your sauce before serving and adjust the seasoning if necessary. The reduction of the sauce can concentrate flavors, especially salt.
- Serving Suggestions: While this dish goes well with noodles or potatoes, it can be served over rice or crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.
What's the secret to firm meatballs?
You want to get the balance of dry and wet ingredients just right. Too wet, and you'll end up with sloppy meatballs. Too dry and they'll be bland and might even break apart.
Add breadcrumbs or a splash of water to the lamb mixture to make sure you've got the ideal balance. That way, you'll get firm, tender meatballs that don't fall apart.
Do meatballs need eggs and breadcrumbs?
No, eggs aren't necessary. They help the meat retain its shape, but you should be fine without eggs if you use quality minced lamb mince.
Should I sear meatballs before cooking?
Yes. Searing the meatballs before cooking them at a lower temperature helps to bring out the beautiful flavors. When you brown the lamb meat, you create that fantastic smoky sweet flavor with the Maillard reaction.
This is a chemical process in which reducing sugars and amino acids mingle to make a flavor out of this world.
Searing lamb meatballs also helps to keep them firm and prevents them from falling apart.
How big should meatballs be?
It depends on your preference. Generally speaking, meatballs should be between the size of a cherry and a golf ball. I prefer mine larger, around the size of a golf ball, but go with whatever feels right for you.
What's the best wine to use for the creamy dill sauce?
You want something with a bit of fruitiness that goes with lamb, dill, and other herbs. A fruity Sauvignon Blanc is perfect with lamb and has a natural affinity with dill.
Can you make the meatballs ahead of time?
Absolutely. If you're making this recipe beforehand, it's a good idea to prep the lamb meatballs but leave the sauce until the day of serving.
Shape your lamb meatballs and then keep them in an airtight container in the fridge until you're ready to cook them. You can also sear them in advance, allow them to cool, and store them in the refrigerator before finishing them off later.
Can you cook meatballs in the oven?
Yes. You can bake these on a baking sheet in the oven at 425°F (220°c) for around 20 minutes.
How do you store lamb meatball leftovers?
Lamb meatball leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for around 3-4 days. Heat them in a pan on the hob for around 10 minutes, or you could even eat them cold!
If you want to freeze lamb leftovers, place them in an airtight container and keep them in the freezer. You can freeze these lamb meatballs for up to three months.
More amazing lamb recipes
Lamb is such an underrated meat, and there are many ways to get creative in the kitchen and cook up some fantastic dishes. Take a look at the following:
- BBQ pulled lamb – another slow cooked lamb delight, this time in the form of an irresistible burger
- Lamb leg steak – lightning quick sensational steaks, these make a wonderful quick and easy Sunday lunch
- Lamb sloppy Joes – big, messy and utterly marvellous, these sloppy Joes are the height of good ol’ comfort food.
- Smoked leg of lamb – just one mouthful of this amazing recipe will be enough to have you hooked. When it comes to taste, smoked meat is in a different league and this is the perfect recipe for smoking newbies and experts alike.
- Indian leg of lamb – if you’ve never had Indian leg of lamb, you’re in for a treat. It’s a spicy slow-cooked sensation!
- Lamb shish kebab – a healthy kebab, this is the perfect proof that fast food can be healthy
- Slow cooker lamb shanks – this lamb steaks recipe is the ultimate Sunday lunch comfort food!
- Lamb Tacos – These amazing Mexican lamb tacos are amazingly tasty! Tender, smoky and spicy slow-cooked lamb that melts in your mouth, served up in a warm tortilla and finished with your favorite toppings.
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