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Baa Baa Balls: Lamb and Feta Meatballs

24 JANUARY 2013
Dish type: Lamb

Serves 4

Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes

Jez Felwick, author of The Bowler’s Meatball Cookbook, said: "Salty feta, with full-flavoured lamb and fresh mint is a classic combination and will work just as well on a stuffed leg of lamb as it does here."

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ an onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large free-range egg
75g feta cheese, crumbled
500g lamb shoulder, minced
100g breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1 teaspoon dried mint
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
50ml double cream
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC (425ºF), Gas Mark 7 and line a large baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.

2. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan. Add the onion and cook on a low heat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.

3. Beat the egg in a large bowl. Add the feta, minced lamb, breadcrumbs, fresh and dried herbs, salt, cumin, cream and lime zest and juice and mix with your hands until well combined.

4. Heat a small frying pan over a high heat. Break off a small amount of the mixture, flatten between your fingers and fry until cooked. Taste to check the seasoning and add more if necessary. Form the mixture into 16 balls each 5cm in diameter, packing each one firmly, and place them on the prepared baking tray.

5. Bake for 18–20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through – the balls should begin to brown on the top. Keep an eye on them to make sure that they don’t get burnt underneath.

6. Simply serve these straight from the oven with a dipping sauce of cumin soured cream or spicy lime yoghurt.

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