Lamb Boulettes, Confetti Rice and Honey Nut Broccoli
Meatballs don’t usually seem festive or unusual, but they’re easy to make and grassfed meats are the most economical when ground. I was in the mood for lamb and wanted to use a frozen package I had from Bayou Farm, Ville Platte, Louisiana. We’re so lucky to have abundant sources of pastured protein in Acadiana, and I’m grateful for all the farmers and producers who make these amazing and delicious meats.
Recently at a family gathering, I was reminded of the lamb scene from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” It’s the sort of thing the carnivore cook in me thinks is funny. If you don’t, no problem. There are scores of recipe sites that cater to you and make you laugh at us as well. Mom, he’s a vegetarian.
My daughter mentioned a meatloaf recipe she knew of from her junior year abroad in Rome that had some unique (for meatloaf) ingredients, and I decided to use them in this boulette recipe. Seasoned with lots of parsley, lemon zest, parmesan and allspice, they are tender and toothsome without the use of a panade made of bread and milk. Instead, I used tapioca starch or you could use arrowroot.
And for accompaniments I made colorful confetti rice and broccoli. If rice isn’t for you, cauliflower “rice” is a great substitute. My nut’n’honey broccoli complements the boulettes with just a hint of sweet to lift the cashew butter and Tabasco flavors. And it’s a poke in the ribs to my long ago and wayward cereal monogamy.
This week’s Spotify playlist features some late-summer inspired tunes as much of the country returns to school, and we all savor the sweet, ripe days of the season.
- 1 lb. ground lamb or beef
- 1/8 cup onion minced
- 1 clove garlic or shallot, minced
- 3 tbsp ghee or coconut oil separated
- 1/4 cup parsley minced
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated, optional
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp allspice ground
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp tapioca starch or arrowroot powder
- 1 tbsp red or white wine or broth or water
Preheat oven to 325.
Sauté onion and garlic in one tablespoon ghee for 5 minutes or until soft, but not brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit. In a large bowl, dissolve tapioca starch in wine.
Add lamb and all other ingredients except two remaining tablespoons of ghee. Combine well. Using a 1/8 cup measure, shape into 12 boulettes (meatballs).
In large, oven proof skillet, add 2 tablespoons ghee and sauté meatballs on all sides until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes.
Transfer skillet to oven and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
- 1 cup long grain white rice or use cauliflower "rice"
- 1/4 cup onion minced
- 1 small green poblano or bell pepper diced
- 1 small red poblano or bell pepper diced
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups homemade bone broth
Melt butter in saucepan. Add onion and peppers and sauté over medium heat for three minutes.
Add rice and salt. Sauté for two minutes.
Add broth, stir to combine ingredients. Cover and reduce heat to medium low.
Cook for 15 minutes. Lift lid and using the end of a wooden or other spoon, insert into center of pan, scraping gently to the bottom. If liquid remains, re-cover, cook another 2-3 minutes and check again. When liquid is evaporated, turn off heat, re-cover pan and allow to steam gently for five minutes. Fluff rice and serve.
- 2 heads broccoli rinsed, florets removed, stems peeled and sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tbsp butter unsalted
- 2 tbsp cashew or almond butter
- 1 tsp raw honey
- Tabasco sauce to taste
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Add 1/2 cup of water to large sauce pan, bring to boil over high heat.
Add broccoli, cover and steam for three minutes, until crisp tender. Drain and remove broccoli to serving dish.
Add remaining ingredients in now empty saucepan over medium low heat. Stir to combine thoroughly, until cashew butter is completely melted. Add broccoli to pan and combine, heating through and cooking to desired tenderness. Taste and correct seasoning, adding salt, pepper or Tabasco as desired.