Easter lamb!!! My favourite part about Easter. Ok, other than carrot cake..and brunch.. and chocolate hahaha. Roasting a whole leg of lamb perfectly while attending to other sides can be a lot of work. I wanted to create a lamb dish that this simple&straight forward, super flavourful and stunning enough to serve to guests. If you are not a fan of lamb, you can sub ground beef but I personally wouldn't. Ground lamb is far less "gamey" than say a leg or chop. It holds up well to the strong spices used here and they help to drown any of that taste out. Try to look for New Zealand or Austrailian grass-fed&finished rather than Us/Ontario lamb. I find the flavour much better perosnally.
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 40 min
Total: 60 min
Meatballs & Glaze
1lb ground lamb
1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, very finely minced
4 garlic cloves, crushed or finely grated
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp chili flakes
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced parsley and/or mint + more for garnish
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp honey
Vegetables & Dukkah
1-2lbs of assorted spring vegetables (I used 4 carrots, 4 parsnips, 1 bunch asparagus, 1 bunch radishes, 1 bunch spring onions) feel free to add fingerling potatoes, beets or any other colourful springtime veg you like
3 whole garlic cloves, peeled and roughly smashed
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup hazelnuts
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds or cumin
1/4 tsp fennel seeds or ground fennel
pinch chili flakes
Pre heat oven to 425' and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Chop your carrots and parsnips into large match stick like chunks, About 1" by 4". Cut radishes in half and cut spring onions in 4" pieces. Trim the woody end off the asparagus, discard. Chop asparagus stalks into thirds. (set the asparagus aside) Toss the other veggies with olive oil, salt pepper, and whole garlic cloves. Place on tray and roast for 30-40 mins until caramelized. Halfway through baking add asparagus, toss and finish roasting.
In a large pan over medium heat add olive oil and minced shallot. Saute for a few minutes until beginning to soften, add crushed garlic and saute a moment more. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add your ground lamb, salt, coriander, cumin, allspice, paprika, cinnamon, chili flakes, freshly ground pepper, and minced parsley. Mix well and form into small-medium size meatballs. I made 12.
Heat the same skillet back up to medium-high heat. Add other tbsp of oil and meatballs (be sure not to overcrowd pan, repeat in batches if necessary). Cook meatballs, until browned on all sides and cooked through. About 6-7 minutes. Add in pomegranate molasses, honey, and pinch of allspice. Swirl around to coat meatballs, remove from heat, cover and set aside until ready to serve.
Lower oven to 325' and place hazelnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 10-12 minutes until toasted and fragrant. pour into a clean kitchen towel and rub off skins. Then, either add to a motar and pestle (or food processor and pulse) along with sesame seeds, cumin, fennel, salt, allspice and chili flakes. Crush it until it resembles a dry crumble. Set aside for serving.
To serve, divide meatballs and roasted veggies amongst plates. Drizzle over extra glaze and finish with more dukkah, parlsey and/or mint.
Leftover dukkah is great on hummus, salads, veggies or sprinkled into olive oil and used as a dip for bread!