Meadows Estate Wines - Food Pairing Recipes

Oregon Wine Pinot Noir Meadows Estate

2015 Pinot Noir Wine Pairing

Middle Eastern Meatballs

This particular dish has been requested by all of my friends at one time or another and as such, has developed quite the following.

It’s actually a riff of a recipe out of Syria. I found it in a cookbook I originally bought because I had to have a different recipe in the book.

Pinot Noir Meadows Estate Red Wine RecipesRecipe From Burned At The Steak

This particular dish has been requested by all of my friends at one time or another and as such, has developed quite the following. Jennifer wanted it for her house warming party. You first saw them in my post from the Old 99 beer pairing dinner, The Night Circus, where we adapted it to an amuse bouche because Amanada wanted them.

It’s actually a riff of a recipe out of Syria. I found it in a cookbook I originally bought because I had to have a different recipe in the book. That’s how I amass cookbooks. I see one recipe and I immediately need the entire book. This particular book funded women refugees. I was sold. And frankly, it’s gotten a lot of use since it arrived a year ago. It’s called Our Syria Recipes from Home, by Hab Azzam and Dina Mousawi. Get the book….it’s fantastic.

These particular meatballs, or kebab, is it’s called in the book, are made with ground lamb. They’re actually pretty easy to assemble as it’s just minced parlsey and onion and some salt and pepper. The book says to serve it with flatbreads, but I do it with jasmine rice scented with herbs de provence. I omit the pine nuts because frankly, I don’t think pine nuts are so delicious that they warrant twenty bucks or more a pound and the already expensive dish is delicious without them. Walnuts or even pistachios would be fine.

I use frozen cherries from Costco. They enable my cherry habit. Making the cherry sauce isn’t hard and the marriage of the meatballs and the sauce is nothing short of magical. The book calls for fresh cherries, but that’s only possible for a brief period once a year. And to be honest, I’d rather just eat the cherries fresh rather than cooking them into oblivion.

Cherry Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs frozen cherries
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 lbs ground lamb
  • 1 16 oz pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 1 cup minced white onion
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fine ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment. Pour the pomegranate juic into a sauce pan and bring to boil. Reduce the juice down to a thin syrup for about on hour, turning down the heat intermittently to avoid burning as it reduces.
  • Combine the lamb, onion, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Form into small meatballs slightly smaller than ping pong balls. Place on the baking sheet and bake until just starting to brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large deep saute pan, combine the frozen cherries, water, and cinnamon on medium high heat. Lower the heat to medium low when the mixture starts bubbling. Add the pomegranate syrup when it’s reduced by about three quarters.
  • Add pepper to taste and begin crushing the cherries somewhat with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the finished meatballs and all the juices from the meatballs, lower the heat to simmer, and stir frequently.
  • Garnish with mint or parsley or nuts. Or all of them! Serve with rice. Or Naan! Or pita! Go crazy!

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