Thursday, February 9, 2012

Bosnian Lamb Meatballs with Caraway Yogurt


Think of the above photo as a serving suggestion, sort of a "Do as I say not as I did."  If you serve them appropriately your results will be much better then mine. I made these meatballs for dinner the other night and while they were cooking Sebastian came into the kitchen to ask the inevitable, "What's for dinner?"  When I told him we were having Bosnian lamb meatballs with a caraway yogurt sauce he was happy.  I had never served them before but at almost 10 years old he is starting to be a little foodie, excited by many of the things he has the opportunity to eat.

After the initial questioning he came back in several times and happily sniffed the air.  The scent of the lamb roasting with fresh rosemary, thyme and mace was delicious on its own even before I added the caraway and yogurt sauce.  If only I had taken a moment to plate it attractively, before bringing it to the table, allowing it to look as good as it smelled.  Instead I plunked it on the table straight from the oven surrounded by the extra yogurt sauce.  Julian took one look and refused to have any, choosing to have a vegetarian dinner.  I could tell Sebastian's initial reaction was not to have any either, but the smell and his anticipation was too much for him.  He carefully selected the balls with the least amount of yogurt showing and ate them somewhat tentatively.  Next time I will be more careful with presentation, they were good enough to make again.

When preparing this dish in your own kitchen, instead of serving this...

I suggest you bring this to the table

Bosnian Lamb Meatballs with Caraway Yogurt Sauce

1 lb ground lamb (you can sub beef)
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 Tbsp minced dried onions
3 eggs
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp minced fresh rosemary or pinch of dried
1/4 tsp minced fresh thyme or pinch of dried
1/4 tsp ground mace

Yogurt sauce:
1 Tbsp caraway seeds
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk, buttermilk or sour cream
2 Tbsp minced fresh mint or parsley (optional because I did not have any)

Preheat the oven to 375°
Mix together the lamb meatball ingredients.  Butter and flour a square baking pan, 9 x 9 x 2 inch and place the balls in the pan in one layer.  I found the mixture was very wet and hard to form into neat balls, I just used a small measured ice cream scoop and let them be a bit more free form.  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the balls are cooked though.

Grind the caraway seeds in a spice grinder or pulverize in a mortar and pestle before combining with the other sauce ingredients.  Let stand at room temperature while the meat balls finish cooking.

Remove the meatballs from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 325°.  Allow the meatballs to rest for 10 minutes while the oven temperature goes down.  After 10 minutes pour the sauce over the meatballs and stir to coat them in sauce and mix in the pan drippings.  Return the pan to the oven and cook uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the sauce to warm and reduce.  To serve remove the cooked meatballs from the baking dish and place on a bed of kale or other green.

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