I was a bit surprised that it took the daughter so long to make the request for a recipe for Greek meatballs.
They’re a favourite with everyone – that dish in my repertoire that everyone is all “OMG! You’ve GOT to get her to make those meatballs” about.
My BFF of 30 years was quite miffed that I didn’t make them for her until about two years ago.
They’re great with empestoed pastas of all kinds, a variety of salads, cold for breakfast, on sandwiches…so good with a lot of things.
They’re tart and nutty and herby and taste a lot like spring. I can’t blame all of the fans – I love them, too!
Perhaps that’s why the daughter didn’t ask until now: that preservation of myth and mystery when it comes to best/secret recipes.
Or she realized she wasn’t likely to get them any time soon unless she made them herself.
Luckily, I’m not all about secrets. I like to share, so here’s the recipe, which makes a LOT of meatballs.
What you need:
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
- 6-18293938 cloves of garlic, squished
- 2 tbsp. dried mint*
- 1 tbsp. dried parsley**
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 lemons
- Vegetable oil for frying
*you could substitute basil or dill, but mint is my favourite
**you can substitute fresh herbs, but you need to double the amount and make sure they are very finely chopped or your balls will be fall-aparty – your food processor/blender is your friend in this
What you do:
- In a large bowl, mix all ingredients but the lemons and oil together.
- Work the juice of one lemon into the mixture. You can also work some rind in, should you like things extra-lemony.
- Form the mixture into balls. I like them on the smaller side, so I make them about as big as the circle made when I touch my index finger and thumb together.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high and add the oil once up to temp.
- Note: If your skillet isn’t hot when you start adding the meatballs, they’ll stick and fall apart. Start with a test ball and make sure it’s sizzling before adding any more.
- Cook the meatballs in batches, ensuring the pan isn’t overcrowded, rolling them around in the pan using the pan’s handle on a regular basis. How many you get in a pan depends on the size of the pan and you could have multiple pans on the go, if you’re feeling über-industrious. They take about 10-12 minutes until they’re done, but test one or five to be sure***.
- Toss the lot of ’em in the pan drippings and the juice from the remaining lemon.
***alternatively, you could bake them, but it’s just not the same