Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Lamb Meatballs Stewed with Chickpeas (Garbanzos)

It may be spring - in fact it was a beautiful day yesterday and I discovered that my puschkinia and my tulipa sylvestris were both in bloom* - but it's not so hot by any means that a stew like this won't hit the spot. There are likely to be a number of meat-heavy dishes posted here for the next little while. One of the sure signs of spring is when I look in the freezer and realize I still have a bunch of roasts and stewing meats, and that I had better use them before the weather gets too hot for me to want to either cook them or eat them.

You could use tinned chickpeas for this. You would need 2 596-ml tins, and as ever when using tinned beans be a bit cautious with the salt as they have lots already.

4 servings
1 to 1 1/4 hours - 20 minutes prep time (not including cooking the chickpeas)

Lamb Meatballs Stewed with Chickpeas
Cook the chickpeas:
2 cups raw chickpeas
water to cover
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pick over the chickpeas and put them in a pot with water to cover them generously. Bring them to a boil, then turn them off and let them soak over night. The next morning, change the water and simmer them until tender. When they are about three-quarters done, add the salt.

450 grams (1 pound) lean ground lamb
1/3 cup cracker or bread crumbs
1 extra-large egg
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dill seeds, ground
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, ground
1/2 teaspoon celery seed, ground
1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix all these ingredients except the oil together in a medium sized bowl. Form the mixture into meatballs, and brown them in the oil, turning them to brown them all over.

To Assemble the Stew:
the chickpeas and their cooking water
the meatballs
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup water or broth
salt & pepper

sour cream

Purée one cup of the chick peas with the paprika, tomato paste and the water or broth, and a little of the chick pea cooking water. Put the purée in a good-sized pot and add the browned, drained meatballs and the remaining chick peas.

Bring the stew to a boil then simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is somewhat reduced. Stir gently but regularly! Adjust the seasonings; I added a little more salt and pepper, but if you used canned chickpeas you are unlikely to need any more salt.

Serve the stew over rice with a dab of sour cream and a good sprinkling of parsley.

*Odd, that. Normally the puschkinia bloom quite a bit earlier than the tulips but we are having a somewhat compressed spring since the snow lasted so long.


Unknown said...

Those meatballs sound tasty and using them is a stew is a good idea. I am going to have to look for some dill seeds.

Peter M said...

It was a glorious day yesterday and I wish I had your meatballs to come home to!