My big, fat Greek meatballs or "keftedes" are made with mint, cumin, garlic and shallots and served with real "tzatziki" mint, cucumber yogurt sauce.
If it weren't for lamb and bacon, I could totally be a vegetarian! The lamb and fresh mint in Greek style meatballs shine so well together. When you bite into a meatball like this, you wax nostaligic for the Greek festival or family-owned Greek restaurant down the street. But meatballs can be little lectin cannonballs that shoot through your digestive track and wreak havoc for autoimmune disease sufferers.
My Lectin Free Gourmet lamb meatballs have the same great flavor of traditional Greek meatballs, but they're grain free and made with mindful ingredients that don't hurt your gut.
Lamb meatballs and tzatziki are one of my favorite flavor combinations. Mint and cumin are traditional seasonings of Greece and are what give these meatballs their signature flavor. And grassfed yogurt sauce with fresh mint, dill and cucumbers just accentuates the obvious. Greek lamb meatballs are typically made with breadcrumbs. But my LFG lamb meatballs are made with almond flour. A few other swaps make this recipe perfectly P-dox compliant. Read on to get the full recipe.
(This makes about 24 one-inch round meatballs, but you can double recipe to feed a party)
LFG Greek Lamb Meatballs
1 Lb. Ground Grassfed Lamb
1 T Shallot minced
1 Green Onion sliced
1 Clove Garlic mined
1/4 C Almond Flour
1 t Cumin
1 T Mayonnaise (homemade or avocado oil version)
1/4 C Fresh Mint Leaves chopped
1/2 t Kosher Salt
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil for cooking
1/2 Cucumber 1 T Lemon Juice
1 Clove Garlic minced
1 t Kosher Salt
1 T Fresh Mint Leaves chopped
1 T Fresh Dill chopped
1 Cup Whole Grassfed Yogurt
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil for swirling on top of the sauce
Make the tzatziki first and well ahead so it has time to intensify in flavor. First, reduce the lectins in the cucumber by peeling and deseeding it. To remove seeds, cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then quarters. Stand the quarters on end and with a sharp knife, cut straight down from top to bottom removing all the seeds along the way. Next dice the cucumber. In a medium bowl, combine diced cucumber, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, chopped mint leaves, chopped dill and yogurt. Combine well. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least an hour or more.
Next make the meatballs. In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium heat. In a large bowl, add ground lamb, egg, minced shallot, sliced green onion, minced garlic, almond flour, cumin, mayonnaise, chopped mint leaves and salt. With both hands, mix to incorporate all ingredients well. Form one-inch balls by rolling about 1 T of meatball mixture between palms of hands. Place them one by one in the heated, oiled pan. Once all the meatballs are in the pan, the first ones should be brown on the underside. Begin flipping over each meatball with a fork, beginning with the ones you added first to the pan. Do not press down on the meatballs as you want them to retain their round shape. Cook and flip until all sides of meatballs are brown.
To plate individual servings, place a dollop of tzatziki in the center of the plate. Spoon a little EVOO in a swirl on top of the sauce. Place 4 - 5 meatballs on top. You can serve as an appetizer like this, or add a Greek salad with reduced lectin tomatoes, cucumbers, Greek Olives tossed in EVOO and red wine vinegar and topped with goat feta as see left.
Pair with a Greek red wine blend that includes the agiorgitiko grape like 2006 Pavlidas Thema Red. Yamas!