Meatballs in Apricot Sauce with Mint and Almonds

Meatballs in Apricot Sauce with Mint and Almonds

You can make this dish with ground turkey, chicken, beef, lamb, veal or any meat substitute.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red onion finely chopped ( 2 cups)

2 tablespoons minced garlic ( 4-5 cloves)

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1 ¼ teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

1/3 cup dried breadcrumbs

1 pound ground turkey ( or whatever meat you choose)

¼ cup fresh chopped mint leaves, plus additional whole leaves for garnish

1 large egg, beaten

½ cup Turkish apricots ( 3oz)

1 small cinnamon stick

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon tomato paste

 ½ cup sliced almonds

To Make

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet or braiser over medium heat. Add onion and cook until clear but no color about 5 minutes.  Remove half the onion and set aside.

Add the ginger, garlic, coriander and turmeric to the pan and heat for about 45 seconds. Remove from pan and place in large bowl.  Reserve the pan for later.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To the large bowl of seasoned onions, add 1/4c chicken stock, breadcrumbs and chopped mint. Mix the meatballs without overworking them. Grab a fingerbowl of water and being to form the meatballs, wetting your hands so meat does not stick. Roll the meatballs and place on the lined baking sheet.  When all meatballs are done place in refrigerator for no less than 30 minutes. Don’t skip this step as it will help to keep the meatballs together.

While the meatballs are chilling add the rest of the chicken stock, apricots and cinnamon stick and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until apricots are plump. Remove the cinnamon stick and let cool. 

In a blender add the reserved onion, apricots and chicken stock and puree in a blender.

In the saucepan you used to season the onions add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and tomato paste. After heating pour the apricot puree in and bring to simmer.  Once simmering place the meatballs in the pan, cover and simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. 

Remove lid and let meatballs simmer on low uncovered for another 12 minutes.

While meatballs are simmering add 1 tablespoon of butter to a stainless steel fry pan.  Heat the butter and add the slivered almonds.  Toss almonds frequently to toast. Add toasted almonds to the meatballs lightly stir and garnish with remaining mint leaves.

Serve alone or over basmati rice.



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