Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt & Herbs

  in Main Dishes, Recipes

Adapted from: Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi

2 pounds ground lamb
1 medium onion, minced
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ cup dried barberries (or dried cranberries)
1 large egg
Sunflower or canola oil
4 large shallots
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons white wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs
2 teaspoons sugar
5 oz dried figs
1 cup greek style yogurt
fresh herbs: mint, cilantro, dill, and tarragon coarsely torn (approx. 1 Tbsp each)
Kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper


  1. Place lamb, onions, parsley, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, barberries, egg, 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp black pepper in a large bowl. Mix with your hands then roll into balls about the size of a golf ball.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp of oil on medium heat in a large heavy bottomed pot. Add meatballs and cook until they are browned on all sides. Remove from pot and set aside. Cook remaining meatballs this same way.
  3. Wipe the pot clean with paper towel and add the remaining oil.  Add the shallots and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
  4. Add the wine and let it cook for 1-2 minutes, then add chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme, sugar and salt and pepper. Arrange the figs and meatballs on top of the shallots, making sure the meatballs are mostly covered in liquid.
  5. Bring to a boil, cover with lid and decrease heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for another hour until the sauce has reduced. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with yogurt and fresh herbs.