Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Greek Meat Patties in a Tomato Sauce

Lamb Meatballs with Pasta

My husband and kids really love meatball dishes. A few days ago, I came across a recipe for Soutzoukakia, a meat patty dish from Greece featured in From Tapas to Meze by Joanne Weir. The picture was gorgeous and immediately caught my attention. However, it was the inclusion of orange zest in the meat mixture that sealed the deal.

Ground Lamb with Zest

I decided to alter the recipe for my own convenience and dietary needs. Overall, my ingredient list is still true to the original spirit of Joanne Weir's recipe. I simplified things a little here and there.

Lamb Meatballs

This made one delicious meal. The meat patties were fragrant as well as moist, and yet they kept their shape beautifully. The sauce had a nice depth of flavor. It paired up perfectly with rice pasta and the salty olives provided a nice contrast to the sweetness of the tomatoes. There were absolutely no leftovers, only rave revues from my little crowd.

Soutzoukakia Meat Patties (serves 6)

I used chickpea flour but feel free to replace it with all purpose flour if you do not have any in your pantry and are not concerned with gluten or wheat intake.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onions, finely chopped
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 slices of gluten free bread, or other
3/4 cup red wine
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
4 cloves of garlic, put through a garlic press
1 1/4 pounds ground lamb
1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley + 1/2 cup reserved
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1 28oz can of Italian tomatoes in puree
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives

In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sautee onion and green onion until tender and starting to turn golden (10 minutes).
In a large bowl, combine the bread and 1/2 cup of the red wine and mash the bread into the liquid. Add to the bowl the onion mixture, the cumin, coriander, allspice, garlic, lamb, zest, 1/4 cup of parsley, thyme and salt. With your hands, mix well until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes.

Form meat patties with about 1/4 cup of meat mixture for each. And coat each one with the chickpea flour.
In a large pot, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil under medium heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add the patties and let brown for at least 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Then carefully remove them from the pot to a platter. Pour in the pot the tomatoes and sauce from the can, mash and break up the tomatoes with a spatula. Add 1/4 cup of red wine, and sugar. Scrape the bottom of pot with a spatula and continue mixing well. Simmer like this for ten minutes and reintroduce the meat patties. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. If you wish to serve it with pasta, boil a pot of water at this time.

Lamb Meatballs Inside

Here's another great meatball recipe for your enjoyment...

Izmir Kofte


Mary Ann said...

Yum, I love meatballs and anything greek. You just keep serving up the best food!

Robin Sue said...

Loved the Izmir Kofte meatballs so I am sure I will love these too. You are right about the orange peel, that would have sold me too! Loved that last photo, so nice and sharp. Too bad we don't have smell-o-photo!

Elra said...

I can imagine the orange zest will perfumed the meat ball. Very good looking meat ball and love the addition of kalamata olives in the sauce.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

These look really good! I've been meaning to expand on my exposure to Greek food rather than just salivating at the great Greek dishes I keep seeing online. I really like the look of this dish and will have to try it soon

Alexa said...

Mary Ann,
Greek food is the best... and it's all good for you! :)

Robin Sue,
That's funny, My son said the same thing when he saw the picture!

It was my first time including zest in red meat dishes, but it won't be the last.

I have a feeling you'll do great things with the Greek palette...

Deborah Dowd said...

These sound wonderful and I love the addition of chickpea flour since we are watching carbs! Can't wait to give these a try!

Alejandra said...

What a gorgeous and delicious sounding recipe!! I love anything ground--meatballs, meatloaf, burgers. I'm not sure what it is, but i love it! This is a definitely must-try on my list. Am planning next months dinners and I already know where this will fit nicely.

And beautiful photos!!

Manger La Ville said...

Orange unique. They look very flavorful and moist. I can't wait to make this greek meatball.

Fifi Flowers said...

Sounds yummy! Going to a Greek festival this week... YUM!

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