Sunday, July 19, 2009

Savory Lamb Patty Meatballs with Tahini Sauce

I have recently been exploring more the importance of having a day of rest during the week. Many religious communities call this kind of day Sabbath or Sunday. I appreciate the concept, but I was thinking more on the idea of feasting on this day of rest. Think about what your week would look like if you ate a more traditional, nothing special, no Rachel-Ray-kind of meal every work-night of the week. And what would it look like if you prepared, looked forward to, and were beyond excited for the celebratory meal to be made on the feast day of the week (Friday night, Saturday night, or Sunday afternoon). This seems to be represented more in culture 100 years ago, when people would work out on farms and the land all week long with simply and practical meals, and then have a special meal of meat and all the sides available on Sunday after church. It probably made more sense budget wise as well. 

Maybe in our modern times, a diet like this would consist of more beans and rice with a vegetable throughout the week, and then on the feast day have a nice piece of fresh meat or fish with all the special sides and dessert. Then in that kind of schedule you would really appreciate the day of rest and feast more than any other day. I know I would plan and be detailed about the meal preparations, and then be excited to wait till the day I could cook the special meal. I would also be thinking about inviting some special guests over to share this meal with us. There is something about sharing a celebratory meal with friends and family. There is something that connects the people around the table to enjoy such a gift of a mouth watering home-cooked meal. I would like to practice this more in my own life and schedule, and I hope that this weekly rhythm would become more a part of my way of having a healthy and balanced lifestyle. 

So this week I bought some special ground lamb from a local farm that raises their lamb without pesticides and hormone-free feed because they are grass pasture fed, and they let their animals roam in humane living conditions. The meat was fresh and full of good sources of B-vitamins and amino acids that we can't get from most plant life. It was a treat... special for our weekend meal feast with friends. The recipe I created was derived from an Israeli Cookbook that honors using many fresh herbs and spices. So here we go...

2 pounds of fresh free-range hormone free ground lamb meat
2 small onions chopped
5 minced cloves of fresh garlic
1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1/4 cup of freshly chopped mint leaves
3 TB of olive oil
1 ts. of ground ginger
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
1 ts. of ground cardamon
1 ts. of ground black pepper
1/2 ts. of ground allspice
1/2 ts. of ground nutmeg
1/2 ts. of ground coriander

Mix with a meat mixer or with your hands all of the above ingredients in a bowl. Let the flavors meld and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then roll out hand sized meatball patties and put in a baking Pyrex pan. that has been oiled on the bottom. I got 12 in a 9x13 pan, so I baked 2 9x13 pans of meatballs and ended up with 24 meat balls. Drizzle with some oil and cook for 15 minutes in a 425 degree oven, in the mean time you can with up the tahini sauce...

Tahini Sauce:
1/2 cup of raw tahini (ground sesame seeds with oil)
2 Tb of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ts. of cumin powder
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1/2 ts. of cracked pepper

Pour sauce over meat patties after they have baked for 15 minutes on 425 degrees and then let them back for another 15 minutes, so a total of 30 minutes of baking time. Cut one patty open to make sure the meat is all the way cooked through. And then serve with some fresh mint and pine nuts for extra flavor and color. Enjoy with a side of roasted potatoes or vegetable and have a nice fresh green salad as well, and viola you have a wonderful feast to enjoy with a nice glass of red wine. There you have it... a new recipe to make as a special meal to enjoy with some close friends or family. I hope you consider in your own life how you can have more rhythm and time to work and time to relax. So, peace to you today. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I really love this idea. I love the idea of creating excitement around one big weekly meal. I'm going to see how I can translate that into my family!