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Thursday, February 25, 2016

BBQ Lamb Meat Balls

 Thanks for sticking around for Lamb Lover's Month.  I almost forgot to post this recipe possibly due to the Horrible Monday that we had and the followup physical therapy that has ensued. 

As most of you know, I have been on a quest to learn to cook lamb this year and have been sharing my recipe trials with you during February, aka Lamb Lovers Month.  I had lots of different lamb chop "recipes" sent to me(Teriyaki Lamb Chops, Two Ingredient Lamb Chops and Lamb Chops in Simple Marinade), but not one for Lamb Meat Balls.  I attended the Women Managing the Farm Conference a few weeks back and thanks to my friends at Kansas Wheat I ended up sitting to this spitfire of a sheperdess at drinks on evening.  Kerri Ebert wear many hats around the Kansas State University campus including the Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops as well as coordinating the AgrAbility Project. 
I met her brother in law when I attended the National Livestock Skillathon Competition back in November and heard all about how the Ebert Sheep Farm had humble beginnings in the  1950's.  Kerri graciously sent me two of her favorite ground lamb recipes.  My son actually packed the leftovers of this recipe for his school lunch this morning.  :)

Lamb Meat Balls — recipe from Iowa Department of Agriculture, courtesy of Carol Jean White, Oskaloosa, Iowa
2 lbs. ground lamb
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup fine cracker crumbs (I use Pepperidge Farm Herbed Stuffing Mix)
2 teaspoons dry parsley, crushed fine
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon rosemary, crushed
2 teaspoons dried onion
1 teaspoon of garlic powder (or a clove or two of minced garlic)
1 teaspoon of thyme. 
(Sometimes she substitutes in poultry seasoning for the rosemary and parsley. Just go with what tastes good to you)
Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Shape into 1-inch balls. Makes 5-6 dozen 1-inch meatballs or about 2 dozen 2-2 1/2 meatballs. 
 
Cook in a non-stick skilled over low to medium-low heat until meatballs are browned on all sides.  (I used a 12 inch skillet to cook them all at once and have room to turn them.)  Remember my friend Chef Alli says browned is a flavor and NOT a color.  :)
 
 Drain well. (Draining fat is a important step. Lamb fat tastes terrible. Get rid of all of it.)
 
After draining the fat, pour about 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce over the meatballs in the skillet. When Kerri uses store-bought BBQ sauce she usually dilutes it with a little water to make a runnier sauce. When she has time she makes her own BBQ sauce and can make it as runny or thick as needed.
 
 After pouring on the BBQ sauce, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Lamb Meat Balls
 — recipe from Iowa Department of Agriculture, courtesy of Carol Jean White, Oskaloosa, Iowa
2 lbs. ground lamb
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup fine cracker crumbs (Kerri recommends Pepperidge Farm Herbed Stuffing Mix)
2 teaspoons dry parsley, crushed fine
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon rosemary, crushed
2 teaspoons dried onion
1 teaspoon of garlic powder (or a clove or two of minced garlic)
1 teaspoon of thyme. 

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Shape into 1-inch balls. Cook in a non-stick skilled over low to medium-low heat until meatballs are browned on all sides. Drain well. (Draining fat is a important step. Lamb fat tastes terrible. Get rid of all of it.) Makes 5-6 dozen 1-inch meatballs or about 2 dozen 2-2 1/2 meatballs. 
After draining the fat, pour about 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce over the meatballs in the skillet.After pouring on the BBQ sauce, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

The BBQ meatballs go great with a broccoli & cheese casserole. I can prepare the casserole and have it cooking while I make the meatballs. Fast, easy, and very few dirty dishes from preparation.


-A Kansas Farm Mom