Confession time…I can eat turkey leftovers for a week without getting sick of them. That being said, in the days leading up to Thanksgiving I do not eat any chicken or turkey. In the week preceding Turkey day, I eat salads, fish, lamb, pork and pretty much anything else that does not include fowl. So I am good and ready for that Turkey and all of the yummy Thanksgiving leftover recipes I can throw together.
Most of my friends are the opposite. They can only stomach turkey leftovers for a couple of days before they are ready to throw in the towel and throw out the bird. Craig would be one of those people.
After spending all of two days in the kitchen preparing for and then cooking the turkey plus the obligatory side dishes for our Thanksgiving get together, the last thing I want to do is spend a lot of time cooking more food. Voila – I give you lamb meatballs.
These are super easy to put together, and you probably already have the ingredients lying around (since many of them are involved with putting together the turkey dinner). Plus, using the pomegranate juice to make a sauce gives them a lighter flavor than serving them with tomato sauce. Which, at this point, I think all of our stomach’s could use the break.
This is one of those recipes that two people can make together, and it’s fun. You get your hands into the ingredients to mix them up and then form the meatballs with your hands. If you are both making them together, it goes faster and since both of you have dirty hands no one is groping the other one…at least not at that moment (that will happen later, after dinner).
Makes 9 Meatballs
- 1 Pound Ground Lamb
- 1/2 Medium Brown Onion (grated)
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 Cup Crackers (ground)*
- 2 Garlic Cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary (finely chopped)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seed (crushed)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Pomegranate Arils
- 1 1/2 Cups Unsweetened Pomegranate Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
In a saucepan add pomegranate juice, brown sugar and cinnamon. Over medium high heat, reduce the juice to 1/2 cup. This should take roughly 20 minutes. When done, set sauce aside.
Using the olive oil, oil the bottom and sides of an 8″x8″ baking pan and set aside.
Place the ground lamb in a bowl and add the onion, egg, crackers, rosemary, lemon juice, fennel seed, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix thoroughly. Once mixed, form the meatballs into 1 1/2″ – 2″ balls. Place them into the oiled baking pan.
Roast meatballs, in oven, for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and brush on 2 coats of the pomegranate sauce. Put back into oven and roast for an additional 15 minutes (the meatballs will be cooked to a medium doneness).
Remove from oven and serve meatballs over orzo pasta. Drizzle with pomegranate sauce and sprinkle with pomegranate arils.
*I used whole wheat cocktail crackers. Any cracker that is not buttery or a woven wheat cracker should work well in this recipe.