Here is an excellent Turkish meatballs recipe, adapted from The Book of Jewish Food, that is very different from the typical Italian-American meatball recipes so popular in the United States.
The Turkish meatballs are very small, and seasoned very differently than what you’d be served at an Italian-American table. The cinnamon is not overpowering but gives them an irresistible flavour. This ground beef meatball recipe is also delicious when made with lamb or a combination of beef and lamb.
The easy meatball sauce recipe that goes along with it requires only about 20 minutes of simmering and just a few ingredients. The meatballs take some time to make; did I mention that they are small? To save time on busy nights, I usually make a double batch of these and put some in the freezer for another day.
Turkish MeatballsPrint Recipe
- Meatball Ingredients
- 1 1/4 pounds of minced beef or lamb, or a combination of the two
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of ground allspice
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
- 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- ½ of a 6-ounce can of tomato paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 500 or 550 degrees. If you have a food processor, mince the onion and throw the spices in to get them well mixed.
- Mix the first 5 ingredients (meat thru salt and pepper) well and form into small, 1-inch diameter meatballs. They do taste better if they are small.
- Bake for 7 minutes on a rimmed cookie sheet (make sure the meatballs are not touching each other).
- Drain in a colander.
- Saute the garlic in olive oil until it is almost beginning to brown.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the already baked meatballs and simmer for another 15 minutes.