EatMore DrinkMore is participating in the DC American Lamb Pro-Am. Ten local food bloggers received a beautiful boneless leg of lamb from Border Springs Farm and were challenged to prepare a great lamb dish for their readers. Four bloggers will be chosen to participate in the DC American Lamb Pro Am on March 4th, where they will be paired with a local DC chef and will prepare their dish for over 100 guests at the Hotel Palomar. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VOTE – We need your vote!!
I started a tradition a few years back where I cook an elaborate meal for my father’s birthday. I love to cook, so it was a great excuse to break out a fancy cookbook and make a decadent meal for my family. Cost is never a concern. Lobster? Wine? Why not? The first time I cooked my father’s birthday meal I prepared several days in advance, pouring over Thomas Keller cookbooks to perfect a lobster mac & cheese and a beautiful rack of lamb. Unfortunately, as the day of the big meal came there was a snow storm and my neighbors were treated to an elaborate Thomas Keller meal instead of my parents. We rescheduled, and my dad absolutely fell in love with the lamb chops I prepared from Thomas Keller Ad Hoc at Home.
Every year since, his only requirement when I cook a nice meal for him is that I make him a rack of lamb, be it father’s day, his birthday, or any other random occasion (like Sunday). I must admit, I have made the herbed crusted rack of lamb several times, and it’s honestly the best lamb dish I have ever had. The problem is that rack of lamb is not cheap. It’s delicious, but it’s more of a special occasion meal rather than a random weeknight meal.
When I received word that we were using a boneless leg of lamb for the DC American Lamb Pro-Am, I decided that I wanted to play with the flavors from the herbed crusted rack of lamb in a new way. I had the butcher grind up the leg of lamb into several pounds of freshly ground lamb which made it much easier to deal with. For those of you who might try this recipe at home it is helpful to know that ground lamb at $9.99 a pound is far more economical that rack of lamb which comes in at $18.99 a pound at my local butcher.
Britt and I decided to take all of the flavors that we love from the Thomas Keller recipe and incorporate them into the best lamb meatball you’ve ever had. We tweaked the recipe enough to make it our own. You know what goes great with lamb? Pita. So what did we do? We smashed Stacy’s Pita Chips and mixed them with panko bread crumbs for our meatballs. Have you ever had a pita encrusted fried herbed honey mustard lamb meatball? Unless you were at Britt’s Super Bowl Party, the answer is probably no. You’re missing out. We threw this recipe together in 30 minutes and I assure you it is much better than anything you would find in a Rachel Ray cookbook.
To make sure the meatballs cook all the way through, first bake the meatballs in a 375 oven for 20 minutes.
Now that the meatballs have been browned and cooked in the oven, it’s time to fry!! We rolled each meatball in some all purpose flour, then dipped the meatball in an egg wash and covered the meatball in the dry panko/crushed pita chips mixture.
Heat the canola oil to medium high and light fry each meatball. Be careful! These will cook up quickly and can burn easily.
Serve with pita and a dollop of the greek yogurt sauce below!
“Rack of Lamb” Meatballs -
- 1 # Ground Boneless Leg of Lamb or Lamb Shoulder
- 1/8 C Dijon Mustard
- 2 T of honey
- 2 cloves of garlic confit – minced*
- 2 large handfuls of Stacy’s Pita Chips – crushed in a ziptop bag
- 1/4 bunch of flat leaf parsley – chopped
- 3 sprigs rosemary – chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- Canola Oil
Greek Yogurt Sauce:
- 1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt
- 2 T of Dijon Mustard
- 1 T of Honey
- Chopped Parsley
- 1 T of whole grain mustard
“Rack of Lamb” Meatballs
1. Combine the lamb, parsley, 1 egg, mustard, honey, rosemary, garlic confit, salt, pepper, and a handful of the finely crushed pita chips. Depending on the amount of lamb you use, you may need more or less pita chips to absorb the liquid in the meatballs. You’re looking for a loose moist texture.
2. Bake the meatballs in a 375 oven for 20 minutes
3. Let the meatballs cool for a few minutes and then it’s time to fry! Roll each meatball in flour, then an egg wash, then the panko/pita chips mixture.
4. Heat canola oil to medium high and lightly fry each meatball until just golden brown.
5. Serve with greek yogurt sauce.
Greek Yogurt Sauce
1. Combine all ingredients. Taste and adjust to your liking.
Garlic Confit Recipe (from Ad Hoc at Home – Thomas Keller)
1 Head of Garlic peeled with root ends removed
Place all of the garlic cloves in a small sauce pan and cover with an inch of canola oil. Cook for about 40 min on low, small bubbles should slowly rise to the surface and the garlic should not brown too much. Stir every 5 minutes. When the garlic is done, it should be soft and be able to be pierced with a knife. Keep the oil/garlic mixture in an airtight container.
**If you don’t have time to make the garlic confit you can just saute several cloves of minced garlic in oil for a few minutes.