Minted Lamb Meatballs with Almond Sherry Sauce

Metric version of recipe

Yields 8 portions

Ingredient Amount
Baguette, cut into 1/2–inch-thick cubes, (about 2 cups) 1 ea.
Sherry wine 1/3 cup
Ground lamb 3.5 lb.
Eggs, beaten 3 ea.
Garlic, minced 3 Tbsp.
Yellow onions, minced 1 cup
Mint, chopped 2-1/2 Tbsp.
Salt 2 tsp.
Black pepper, freshly ground 1 tsp.
All-purpose flour, as needed ½ cup
Olive oil, extra virgin 2 Tbsp.
Almond sherry sauce  
Garlic, minced 2 Tbsp.
Yellow onions, diced 2-1/3 cups
Sherry wine 1-1/3 cups
Lamb stock 1-1/3 cups
Almonds, toasted 1-1/3 cups
Lemon zest 1 Tbsp.
Lemon juice 3 Tbsp.
Olive oil 1/3 cup
Mint, chopped ½ cup
Butter, cut into chunks 6 Tbsp.

Method

  1. Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer and allow to try at room temperature for 2 hours.
  2. Soak the bread briefly in the sherry until the liquid is absorbed, then pulse in a food processor fitted with the steel blade for about 1 minute, or until the mixture is processed into fine crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl and combine with the lamb, eggs, garlic, onions, mint, salt, and pepper using a wooden spoon.
  3. Form the lamb mixture into about 2-1/2-tablespoon meatballs approximately 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Dust with flour. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the meatballs and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium baking dish or casserole. Repeat the process with 1 more tablespoon of oil and the remaining meatballs.
  4. Make the sauce. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the garlic, onions, sherry, and lamb stock in a medium saucepan or pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then remove from the heat. Pour the sauce over the meatballs. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the meat registers 170°F on a meat thermometer. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon and keep warm in a serving dish covered with foil.
  5. Pour the sauce from the meatballs into a medium saucepan and set aside. Place the almonds, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, and mint in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and process to a paste, about 2 minutes. Whisk the paste into the reserved cooking juices. Heat through over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the butter a little at a time and wisk to finish the sauce. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and serve.

Additional tips

Recipe credit: Kevin Marquet for the American Lamb Board, as presented at the 2006 Worlds of Flavor International Conference and Festival. Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Presented at the World Marketplace on Friday, Nov. 3, 2006.

© 2017 The Culinary Institute of America