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Lamb meatballs

Lamb meatballs

Chef Nicole Pederson uses Eastern Mediterranean flavors with an Argentine spin in this crowd-pleasing shareable plate.

For the meatballs, she combines four pounds of pork with 10 pounds of lamb, along with egg, breadcrumbs, toasted ground mulatto chiles, shallots, garlic, thyme and parsley. She shapes the mixture into 1.2-ounce balls, sears them and braises them in lamb stock for about 10 minutes.

She makes yogurt in-house with mint-infused warm milk with chopped mint stirred in afterwards.

Next comes a fairly classic chimichurri with parsley, red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt, but with fresh red chiles instead of dried chile flakes.

Then she adds chopped toasted pistachios, “because it’s delicious, and lamb and pistachios naturally went together in my brain,” she said. The idea came when she was making leg of lamb at home and pistachios were the only nuts she had on hand, she said. Serendipitously, nuts also happen to be popular in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Pederson serves the dish in a miniature cast iron pot, starting with the yogurt on the bottom, then five meatballs, then the chimichurri. The dish sells for $13.

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Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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