Greek meatballs

greek meatballs

Over the past few months the New York Times food section has included a small column by Elaine Louie called One Pot. The recipes have spanned the globe, but all have been spicy and soulful…food that real people eat and cook on a daily basis. I was especially intrigued by the recipe for Greek meatballs , the use of paprika, cumin, allspice, and nutmeg appeals to my craving for spicy exotic food. That recipe sat at the back of my overloaded conscious and it was only this week, when faced with the overwhelming task of cooking another meal, and yes it had better be bloggable, that I finally cooked it up. Frankly it’s a shame I didn’t make it sooner. The tender and fragrant meatballs were tremendously satisfying and my tribe of men agreed that it was a keeper. Plus leftovers traveled and reheated well. I made several changes to the original recipe…mostly to amp up the flavor. Rather than simmer the meatballs in the sauce I chose to keep the two separate and use the sauce for dipping and swirling.

Greek Meatballs
Inspired by Elaine Louie
printer-friendly recipe

2 tbs olive oil
1/2 a medium onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 28 oz. can of plum tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp red chili flakes
salt, pepper, pinch of sugar
dash of Maggi seasoning
dash of balsamic vinegar

Saute the onions in the olive oil, add the garlic and cook briefly. Add the tomatoes, wine, and chili flakes, sugar, salt, and pepper and let it simmer while you get the meatballs going.

12 oz. ground pork
16 oz. ground beef
1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 nutmeg, grated fine
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/2 cup white wine
salt, pepper

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to combine (I use my clean hands to do this…it’s easier). Form the meat mixture into small balls (I used a cookie dough scoop that turns out tablespoon sized balls). Heat up a skillet over medium heat and add about 1/2 inch of olive oil. Cook the meatballs in the skillet, turning them to brown them evenly. Replenish the olive oil as needed and store the cooked meatballs in a covered dish in the warm oven.

While the meatballs are cooking take the sauce off the heat and put it into the blender jar and let it rip for about 10 seconds or until it is totally pureed. Pour it back into the pan and reduce it while the meatballs cook. Taste it and if it needs more oomph add some Maggi seasoning and balsamic vinegar.

Serve the meatballs with the sauce on the side or simmer the two together. I liked it with the sauce on the side, and also some goat milk yogurt and jasmine rice. This recipe makes enough for four servings plus leftovers. Total prep and cooking time is about one hour.

Next week I’ll be posting from Paris…until then stop by What Geeks Eat…