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Meatballs with Bulgur in Onion and Tomato Sauce

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Joined: Jan 11, 2007


Posted to Thread #23 at 5:12 am on May 25, 2007

I used a combination of Lamb (for flavor) and Veal (for texture). The bulgur added a nice contrasts in texture.

Voli are marbles, the multicolored little balls that were so popular with kids during my childhood. But unlike the glass versions, which were quite expensive, the ones we used to play with were made of clay and colored in various bright, glossy shades. They were fragile, and their glaze would crack, revealing their dark red insides, similar in color to these delicious meatballs with bulgur.
This recipe comes from the island of Rhodes, and bulgur is probably the grain originally used. Later, in the stewed meatballs of the mainland, it was replaced by rice.

1 pound lean ground beef, veal, lamb or pork or a combination
1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4-5 scallions (white plus most of the green parts), finely chopped
1/2 cup coarse bulgur
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, 2 minced and 2 coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and sliced into half-moons
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cups grated ripe tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes with their juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup water

In a large bowl, combine the meat, all but 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the scallions, bulgur, egg, 2 tablespoons of the oil, the minced garlic, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Knead well, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Shape 2-tablespoon-sized portions of the meat mixture into balls. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate.

In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and saute the onion over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until it starts to color. Add the chopped garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the wine and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and cinnamon stick. Carefully add the meatballs to the skillet; the sauce should almost cover them. Add the water, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low.

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Remove the cinnamon stick, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and serve.

Makes about 26 Meatballs; 4 to 6 servings

Foods of the Greek Islands
November 2000
Aglaia Kremezi
Houghton Mifflin

Traca's Notes: Like other reviewers, I bumped up the cinnamon, garlic, and cumin. I also baked the meatballs in the oven.


You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do
something about its depth. - M

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