Still undecided what to make for Valentines? We all know the fastest way to someone’s heart is through the stomach (I made Hong a bowl of Mi Quang and now look at us). So if you’re still searching, try something exotic but oh so simple: lamb meatballs. Last year on our
vacation eating trip to NYC, one of our favorite restaurants was The Meatball Shop. It was casual, comforting (especially against the blistering February chill), and delicious. But let’s face it, everyone loves meatballs. It’s hearty, still healthy, and cute!
The Meatball Shop was the brainchild of childhood friends chef Dan Holzman and partner Micheal Chernow. We met the affable chef Holzman here in LA at the 2011 Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival and got a chance to tell him how much we enjoyed his meatballs and his restaurant. Like a choose your own adventure, diners can customize the meatball, its sauce, and accompaniments.
Our favorite was the lamb meatballs. Lamb is a sexy cut of meat and this is one of the easiest ways to prepare it. The raisins and walnuts in this recipe gives this ball a subtly sweet and earthiness that really works well with the lamb.
Yield: 2 dozen 1.5 inch balls
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 20 minutes
2 tbs olive oil
2 lbs ground lamb
3 large eggs
1 cup dark raisins, chopped
1/2 cup walnut halves, chopped
1/2 fresh mint, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 ts salt
1 ts fresh ground pepper
Classic Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1 ts chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 ts dried
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 ts salt or to taste
2 tbs tomato paste
2 28oz cans whole plum tomatoes, chopped w/ their liquid
Preheat oven to 450. Drizzle olive oil into a baking dish and spread evenly. Set aside.
Combined all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
Pack the meat firmly and roll the mixture into round 1 1/2 inch balls. Place the balls onto the baking dish and line snugly in even rolls vertically and horizontally in a grid, touching one another.
Roast for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. The temperature should be 165 if you want to check with meat thermometer.
Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Classic Tomato Sauce
Heat the oil over the medium heat and add onions, bay leaf, garlic and salt, stirring until soft and translucent about 10 mins. Add tomato paste and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir constantly until sauce begins to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent burning. Season to salt. Remove bay leaf before serving.
From The Meatball Shop CookbookThe Meatball Shop
Recently Dan Holzman and Michael Chernow published their first cookbook, proclaiming their love of meatballs and sharing all they learned and created. We’ve made beef, lamb and pork meatballs from the book and they all turn out great. It’s a beautifully photographed book with easy to follow recipes, from balls, to sauces, to sides. The generous folks at The Meatball Shop are giving away one book to a lucky reader!
You can purchase The Meatball Shop from Amazon
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Win a copy of The Meatball Shop cookbook from @ravenouscouple and @MEATBALLERS! https://theravenouscouple.com/?p=2510
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Contests ends on midnight Saturday 2/18. A winner will be chosen at random. Congrats to Hao, L!