Lamb and Leek Meatballs with Onion Egg-Lemon Sauce (Κεφτέδες με Πράσα και Αβγολέμονο)

Lamb Leek Meatballs with Onion Avgolemono

Lamb and Leek Meatballs with Onion Egg-Lemon Sauce (Κεφτέδες με Πράσα και Αβγολέμονο)

Serves 4 (makes 20 1” meatballs)

The meatballs can be served on their own as an appetizer (without the egg-lemon sauce) or with tomato sauce instead of egg-lemon. They are a wonderful way to use up leftover roast lamb.

Meatballs:
3 cups diced leeks, 1/8” dice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups leftover lamb, ground (or raw ground lamb)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
4 tsp. minced mint
2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1 egg
Oil for frying the meatballs

Egg-Lemon Sauce (Avgolemono):
1 cup diced yellow onion, 1/4” dice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
2 eggs
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Minced mint for garnish

Make the meatballs: Sauté the leeks in olive oil, lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, over medium heat until the leeks are soft. Mix the leeks with the lamb, garlic, mint, oregano, and egg. Brown a sample of the meatball mix in olive oil, taste, and add salt, freshly ground black pepper, mint, or oregano to the meatball mix, as needed. Shape the mix into 1” balls, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Heat the oil in a frying pan, and fry half the meatballs until they are nicely browned on all sides. If you put too many meatballs in the pan at one time, they won’t brown properly; if you’re in a hurry, cook the meatballs in two frying pans. Drain on paper towels. (You can hold the meatballs in a 250°F oven for 15 minutes, if needed, while you make the sauce.)

Make the Egg-Lemon Sauce: Start the egg-lemon sauce while the meatballs are chilling in the refrigerator. Sauté the onion in olive oil, lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper, over medium heat until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Purée the onions and stock in a blender. Strain out the solids, pressing out as much liquid as possible.

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs until they are very thick. Add the lemon juice slowly while continuing to beat the eggs. Slowly beat in the onion-stock, and put the mixture in a saucepan.

When the meatballs are nearly done, or are keeping warm in a 250°F oven, cook the sauce over low heat until it thickens (this takes 3 – 5 minutes). Don’t let the sauce boil, or it will curdle. If the sauce is too thick for your taste, thin it out with a little chicken stock.

To Serve: Spoon a pool of egg-lemon sauce onto a plate, top with five meatballs, sprinkle with minced mint, and serve immediately.

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