Moroccan Lamb Meatballs with Dill Sauce


Moroccan Lamb Meatballs with Dill Sauce

We adapted this recipe from one that originally appeared in Gourmet magazine, and when we say “adapted” we always, always mean “made it simpler.” These have been a crowd-pleaser at Purcell parties for years—so much so that when we don’t serve them, guests actually complain.


Ingredients Directions

For the meatballs

1/3 cup minced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried mint, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound ground lamb
1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs (about 2 slices white bread, ground in food processor)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons finely chopped dried cranberries
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
 

For the sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
ground white pepper to taste

Prepare the sauce

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Prepare the meatballs

Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a small, nonstick skillet, cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a big bowl. Stir in the salt, mint, allspice, and cinnamon. Add the lamb, bread crumbs, egg, cranberries, and sesame seeds and combine thoroughly (the easiest way is to use your hands).

Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-inch balls. (Guests will be spearing them with toothpicks, so they should be no bigger than two bites’ worth.) Line up the meatballs on an ungreased baking sheet as you go (they can be close, just not touching). Bake just until no longer pink in the middle, 8 to 10 minutes.

Serve with the dill sauce alongside.

Makes about 32 meatballs and 1 1/4 cups sauce.

Make-Ahead Factor

The dill sauce can be made 3 to 4 days ahead and kept covered and refrigerated. The meatballs can be formed 1 day ahead and kept covered and refrigerated.

From Cocktail Parties, Straight Up! Easy Hors D'oeuvres, Delicious Drinks and Inspired Ideas for Entertaining with Style by Lauren and Anne Purcell.