Lamb Meatballs in Almond Sauce

Total Time:
37 hr
30 min
Inactive Prep:
35 hr
1 hr 30 min
6 servings


  • 2 slices fresh white bread, torn into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons Spanish red wine
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Spanish olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced Spanish onions
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 6 tablespoons slivered, blanched almonds
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh mint leaves


Place bread pieces in a small bowl and drizzle with the red wine. Allow bread mixture to stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the lamb, egg, chopped garlic, parsley, and moistened bread. Season with salt, pepper, and Essence. Roll meat into small bite size balls, about 1 tablespoon each. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to overnight.

Place the flour in a small bowl; working in batches, dredge the meatballs in the flour. Shake off any excess flour.

Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into a large saute pan with straight sides and heat the oil until almost smoking over high heat. Add the meatballs, in batches, and fry until well browned, gently rolling to brown all sides, about 4 minutes per batch. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining batches.

Wipe the pan clean and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place over medium-high heat and, when hot, add the onions. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the reserved meatballs and cover. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, combine the almonds, garlic clove, and mint in a food processor and pulse until a finely ground paste is formed. Set aside.

When the meatballs are tender, uncover and add the almond paste to the broth. Stir to combine and remove from the heat.

To serve, place several meatballs in a small dish and spoon some of the sauce over the tops. Serve with toothpicks or small forks.