I think that there are different variations of meatballs in almost every culture - some ground meat which has something starchy added to it, maybe to make it cheaper, meat has been something of a luxury in the past. As for now it is one of the staples in many peoples diet, especially with families; it is easy, convenient and still cheaper than many other foods. It was most definitely a staple in our home when I was growing up; I can still remember the kind of meatballs my grandparents made, the kind my parents made and even the kind all my other relatives made just because it was always a food that tasted good and made me look forward to dinner.
When I think of meatballs the first thing that comes to mind is the kind which was made by my dad, not Italian style meatballs with milk soaked bread or anything like that, just some Scandinavian style meatballs with creme fraiche or sour cream, maybe it is the Slavic influence raising its head there, I always add something sour to foods and I prefer using sour dairy in some form, much like my parents. Something like creme fraiche or smetana does give a nice taste to meat though.
I have not been eating many meatballs now that I am gluten-free, but I have found that quinoa flour works well with them. Quinoa flour was the first and thus far the only flour I have tried using in meatballs, I have not felt the need to use something else since it works so well. I would say that you can use quinoa flour in your favourite meatball recipe instead of regular flour and it should work out well, I’m not totally sure since it might depend a lot on the recipe, but my own experiments have been successful using quinoa.
This recipe revolves around ground lamb meat; I have access to some local organic lamb and so I tend to use a lot of it, but it’s not the only reason why I wanted to post this particular recipe. The main reason was that this is a bit different from regular meatballs and totally delicious, some variety and twist added to everyday foods never hurt anyone.
I adapted this from Nigella’s aromatic lamb meatballs recipe.
Gluten-free lamb meatballs
-500 grams ground lamb meat
- 1 egg
- 2 tbls olive oil
-2 heaping tbls quinoa flour
- 2 chopped spring onions, or one small yellow onion
- 1 finely minced garlic clove
- 1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp coarse salt (this is a lot of salt, add just 1/2 tsp if you don’t want to use this much salt)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander/ some fresh coriander
-1 tsp all spice
Grind the spices and mix everything together. Let it sit for approximately one hour in the fridge. Heat the oven to 200 C or 400 F and depending on their size let them bake for 20-30 minutes.
Grind all of the spices; you’ll need to use coarse salt (sea salt) so that the spices will break more easily.
Put all the ingredients in to a bowl, I chop my onions coarsely since I don’t mind them looking like that and they will soften in the oven.
Mix everything together with your hands and then leave it to sit in the fridge for one hour.
Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F.
Line a baking tray with some baking paper and roll the meatballs; if they stick to your hands use some water on your hands.
Let them bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on their size.
You can of course use a frying pan with these too, but I use an oven since it’s easiest that way.
I like to eat these with some baba ganoush, or rice, or some seasoned Greek yogurt, actually I like these with almost anything - not with something sweet though.
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