Mrs. Rita's Famous Lamb & Beef Meatballs

30th Nov -0001 @ 00:00 by  

YIELD: Makes 75-80, 1 ½ inch meatballs
PARING: 2014 Dragon's Kiss Syrah

We’d like to tell you that the wines were the stars of our Winter Club Pick-up party, but based on your emails, we need to admit that Mrs. Rita, Crystalyn’s incredible mom, and her Spicy Moroccan Meatballs stole the show! Here is the recipe for the most delicious lamb and beef meatballs you have ever had (transcribed verbatim from Miss Rita’s handwritten recipes).


Use all the lamb you wish
2 ½ LBS Ground Lamb
2 LBS Ground Beef-85%-90% Lean
• Lightly mix the meats together by hand and set aside

In large bowl:
3 Cups soft bread crumbs
¾ Cup ½ and ½
• Mix until just moistened by
• By hand, mix with meat until incorporated
• Set aside

In small bowl:
4 X Large eggs
4 tsp Salt
4-6 tsp Ras al Hanout
2-3 tsp Smoke paprika
• Whisk together and set aside

In Frying Pan:
2 Large Spanish-yellow onions-chopped fine
4 Cloves garlic-minced
½ Cup Parsley-finely chopped
¼ Cup Cilantro-finely chopped
2 TB Olive or grape seed oil
• Sautee and sweat until onions are translucent

• Combine meat, eggs with spices, onion mixture, lightly mix. Chill in refrigerator 1 hour to firm up
• Form into 1 ½ inch balls [Keep hands wet with cold water]
• Lay meatballs into two 3x9x13” baking dishes
• Pour ½ of the Pomegranate Glaze Marinade over and roll meatballs to coat
• Refrigerate one hour or even overnight
• Heat 2TB grape seed oil in large frying pan and brown the meatballs
• Return them to the 9x13” or large baking sheets, and finish in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes
• Brush the remaining glaze over the top while baking
• Serve with the Moroccan dipping sauce


16 oz Pom juice
1 Cup sugar
• Combine these two and reduce by 50%
½ Cup water
½ Cup Balsamic vinegar
½ Cup honey
1 Cup pomegranate seeds
• Combine these with the Pom juice reduction and simmer 15-20 minutes
½ Cup Fresh mint leaves chopped
• Add to sauce, remove from heat, let steep


2 Red bell peppers-chopped
1 Large Spanish-yellow onion-chopped
2 Garlic cloves minced
2 TB Olive oil
Pinch of salt
• Sautee and sweat until onions are translucent

Toast and Grind:
1 TB Coriander seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Caraway seeds
• Add to onions and cook 2-3 minutes until spices open up and are fragrant

4 tsp Harissa-ground
1 Thai chili-dried and seed removed-ground
2TB Tomato paste
• Add to onions and cook 2-3 minutes until spices open up and are fragrant

Add and stir:
1 Lemon juice
1TB Balsamic vinegar
1 TB Smoked paprika
1 TB Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon

Add and Simmer:
2-14 oz. cans crushed tomatoes, plus juice [I used Hunt’s]
¼ Cup Cilantro-minced