Bejewelled Syrian Spiced Meatballs
- Prep Time15 min
- Cook Time30 min
- Total Time45 min
- Ready in45 min
For the Meatballs
- 1 pound ground lamb (or a mix of 1/2 lb medium ground beef and 1/2 lb ground lamb)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tbsp Syrian Spice Blend (save leftover spice in tightly sealed container for other dishes!):
- 1/2 tbsp whole allspice
- 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp dried ginger
- 3 whole cloves or 1/4 tsp ground
- 1/4 tsp green cardamom (green husks removed)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
For the Rest
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 cups full fat plain yogurt
- 2 Persian cucumbers (or 1/4 English cucumber)
- 12 cherry or grape tomatoes
- 3 radishes
- 12 cherries
- 1/2 pomegranate worth of seeds
- Small bunch of fresh mint
- Aleppo pepper flakes
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat Oven to 350°F (175°C, gas mark 4)
Grind Syrian spice blend in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder until well ground. Set aside 2 tablespoon’s worth and put the rest away in a sealed container for later use.
Mince 1 clove of garlic.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the meat, spice, and garlic, using your hands to gently fold in the ingredients. The less it is handled, the softer your meatballs will be, so only mix until it is just combined.
Next, form meatballs (about 2 inches in diameter) and set aside on a plate. Number of meatballs will vary by how large you make them. I would recommend making them larger than a golf ball, but smaller than a tennis ball.
Heat an oven safe frying pan (cast iron is perfect, but stainless steel will also work) over an element set at med-high heat and add a splash (approx 1 tbsp) of vegetable or olive oil. Add meatballs and sear, turning, allowing the outsides to form a rich brown crust, about 15 minutes. Once the meatballs are browned, transfer to middle rack in oven until they reach 160 degrees F inside (use a meat thermometer!), about 20 minutes (keep in mind that all ovens vary!)
Any extra notes can go here.