Cured Lemon and Herb American Lamb Meatballs

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

17 min

Total Time

32 min

Servings

16-20 mEATBALLS

Cured Lemon and Herb American Lamb Meatballs

Ingredients

Cured lemons (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated) 

  • 3 medium-sized lemons, thinly sliced, (ends removed) 
  • 3 tablespoons sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar 
  • 1/3 cup olive oil 

Meatballs 

  • 1 pound ground American lamb 
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions 
  • 4-5 cured lemon slices, (chopped) 
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, (chopped0
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Creamy feta yogurt 

  • 5-ounce container whole milk feta 
  • 1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt 
  • 3-4 slices cured lemons 
  • 1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs: dill and flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 1 small clove garlic 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

 Tangy cucumber salad 

  • 2-3 cups cocktail cucumbers, sliced into coins
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill 
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon honey 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • Chive blossoms (Optional)

Directions

The lemons take 24 hours to cure, so prepare the cured lemons a day ahead of the other dish components.

Slice the lemons as paper-thin as you can.

In a large jar combine lemons, sugar, salt, and vinegar. Let stand for an hour. Once the sugar and salt dissolve, top with olive oil. Stir to combine. Store in the fridge 24 hours before using. These last up to 6 weeks in the fridge. 

To make the meatballs, preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Mix all meatball ingredients in the work bowl of your stand mixer or mix by hand in a large mixing bowl.  

Pinch golf ball-sized portions and roll between your palms to form the meatballs. Place each on the lined baking sheet.  

Bake 15-17 minutes or until the balls are deeply browned and cooked through.

Note: USDA recommends ground lamb reach an internal temperature of 160F.

While the meatballs bake, make the yogurt and cucumber salad. Add all feta yogurt ingredients to a food processor and mix until smooth and creamy, roughly 2-3 minutes. Set aside. 

Add all cucumber salad ingredients to a bowl and allow to marinate while the lamb cooks. 

To assemble, smear the yogurt on a plate and top with hot meatballs, cucumber salad, and chive blossoms (if you have them). 

cucumber salad
cooked meatballs on a sheet tray
thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.
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