Lamb Keftedes

A traditional Greek offering of local, pastured lamb, toasted spices and fresh herbs, garlic, lemon and extra-virgin olive oil..


Lamb Keftedes

Makes about 8-10 Meatballs (adapted from a recipe by Michael Symon)

1/4 cup white onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup day-old bread, torn into cubes
1/4 cup fresh, whole milk
1/2 pound freshly-ground lamb, 75% lean
1 pastured egg
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon nibs
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
sprouted wheat flour for dusting
clarified butter
fresh oregano, torn
fresh mint, torn
1 fresh lemon

Toast the cinnamon, cumin and coriander in a dry skillet until fragrant, then set aside to cool.  Meanwhile, sauté the onion with a pinch of salt in a little clarified butter over medium heat until softened, about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic  and cook until softened, about another 2 minutes. Set aside.

Soak the bread in the milk.

Grind the toasted spices and cinnamon together in a mortar, then combine with the black pepper and nutmeg.

In a mixing bowl, combine the onions, garlic and lamb.  Squeeze out the bread and add to the lamb along with the spices, pepper and torn oregano.  Mix everything together by hand.

Form the meat mixture into golf ball-sized balls then roll in the flour, gently shaking off any excess.

Heat clarified butter in a heavy pan over medium heat, then add the meatballs to the pan.  Pan-fry until golden brown and crusty on the outside, then drain briefly on paper towels.

Arrange the meatballs on a plate, drizzle with olive oil then season with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper.  Garnish with lemon zest and oregano and serve with olives and lemon wedges.

This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday!

10 thoughts on “Lamb Keftedes

  1. I have never seen such beautiful presentations of such delicious food!!! I honestly start salivating when I visit your blog!! I promise….whenever we visit Texas again, we are going to knock on your door…you’ll know me….I’ll have drool on my chin! 😀

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  3. Ren,

    Not sure how I missed this post earlier. What are the cinnamon nibs. I didn’t see you call for toasting them. You just eat them whole in the recipe?

    • It gets toasted along with the cumin and corriander.

      Unlike the cassia that we in the US wrongly call cinnamon, true cinnamon (cinnamomum zeylanicum, sweet cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon) is lighter and sweeter in flavor. It is also very soft (you can crush it between your fingers), so the cut quills mostly cook away.

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