Wednesday, November 4, 2009

celebrating an anniversary with lamb meatballs - recipe: moroccan lamb meatballs (or burgers)

Hard to believe, but I’m celebrating my baby’s fifth birthday this week.

No, not Johnny’s b-day (my son, who’s not yet two) but my shop’s birthday.

The shop was born (OK, opened) in 2004.

I jokingly refer to it as my first baby, because starting a new business is very demanding, requiring constant time and attention (much like an actual baby).

And accordingly, nurturing a new business provides an amazing sense of accomplishment.

It’s incredible to see what’s possible with hard work, care, attention. . . and help from a supportive family, friends and great employees.

This week’s recipe is an item from our original full-service catering menu.

Five years later, it’s one of the few items that still remain on our current menu — a testament to just how popular an appetizer it is.

These Moroccan lamb meatballs are great to pass around at a party — and I know from my years in catering that meatballs and shrimp are always the first appetizers “to go”, no matter how undemanding or sophisticated the crowd.

Note: an easy summer substitute is Moroccan lamb burgers.

Please join us on Nov. 6 and Nov. 7 for our customer appreciation anniversary sale, happening at my shop on 55 Erb St. E. in Waterloo.

Thank you so much to the DSG team and to our loyal customers who have become friends.

moroccan lamb meatballs (or burgers)

makes about 40-50 small meatballs (or 12 burgers)


  • 5 pounds lean ground lamb
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound cooking onions, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

method (meatballs and burgers)

  • Heat oil in skillet over medium heat and sauté onions until soft and light golden in colour, about 7–9 minutes.
  • Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about two minutes.
  • Add salt, allspice, cumin, and cinnamon and cook for another two minutes, stirring well. Cool.
  • Place lamb in large bowl. Add cooled onion mixture, currants, mint, eggs and breadcrumbs.

method for meatballs

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Form lamb mixture into small meatballs.
  • Place meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake in oven until cooked throughout, about 18-25 minutes (time will vary, depending on the size of the meatballs and your oven) Serve with a spiced yogurt sauce, if desired.

method for burgers

  • Shape lamb mixture into roughly seven-ounce patties.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill for about seven to nine minutes on each side or until a thermometer reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

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