Lamb Kefta
Eastern European Jews are known for traditional sweet-and-sour meatballs, combining the two flavors in a tomato-based sauce. Middle Eastern families brought their own blend of spices to their version of meatballs called keftas. Combining vegetables with ground beef or lamb would allow a meal to be stretched further.

2 lbs (1 kg) ground lamb 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped yellow onion 4 garlic cloves ½ cup (125 mL) chopped parsley 1 bunch cilantro, chopped 2 tsp (10 mL) cumin 2 tsp (10 mL) paprika 1 tsp (5 mL) powdered ginger ½ tsp (2 mL) cardamom 1 tsp (5 mL) salt 2 tsp (10 mL) pepper ½ cup (125 mL) panko crumbs

TOMATO SAUCE 1 (28 oz / 796 mL) can chopped Italian tomatoes 2 tbsp (10 mL) tomato paste 1 cup (250 mL) chopped yellow onions 4 garlic cloves, minced ½ tsp (2 mL) hot pepper flakes, or to taste 1 bunch cilantro, chopped 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin ½–1 tsp (2–5 mL) cinnamon GARNISH Chopped cilantro

In a bowl, mix the lamb, onion, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin, paprika, ginger, cardamom, salt, pepper, and panko crumbs. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the lamb mixture into 1-inch (2.5 cm) meatballs and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 10 to 20 minutes until browned. To make the tomato sauce, put the tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, garlic, hot pepper flakes, cilantro, cumin, and cinnamon in a food processor and purée until smooth. Pour the purée into a deep saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes. Place the meatballs in the sauce and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Serve with couscous and garnish with chopped cilantro. Yield: 6 to 8 servings



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