So I know I've already talked about the impromptu dinner party my husband and I threw last week. The biggest concern that my husband had was that the meat would either have shrunk too much during cooking to feed our guests or that the recipe was not great. In either case an emergency backup plan was required. Fortunately, I'd brought a cooler to New York with me. I'd stopped at my favorite grocery store back home (that would be Wegmans, if you're curious) and picked up some ingredients. Those ingredients included reasonably priced ground grass-fed beef. I whipped this dish together while waiting for the real main course to cook. I figured that if we didn't wind up using the dish that night it would be a convenient ready-cooked dish to serve late on Wednesday, after my class.
Well, the pulled beef actually worked out perfectly and we didn't need to serve this emergency backup meat dish. That was just fine by me, because this was so good when we finally did eat it that we were glad to not have to share it. We wanted more. I didn't make this at all spicy because one of our intended guests can't handle heat. I will say that the difference between grass-fed beef and regular mass-produced beef was palpable in this dish, at least to me. My husband disagrees.
Meatballs in Tomato-Yogurt Sauce (serves 4; approx. $3.15/serving)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, grated
1 pound ground beef - mine was fairly lean
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 onion, chopped
Kosher salt to taste
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 ounce ginger paste
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
- Large saute pan
- Slotted spatula
- I prefer to grate my onion in the food processor but it is entirely your call
- Large mixing bowl
- Combine the meat, breadcrumbs and ground onion in the mixing bowl. Use your (very clean ) hands to knead this mixture until well mixed.
- Form the meat mixture into approximately walnut-sized balls.
- Heat the oil in the saute pan.
- Add the meatballs. Brown the meatballs on all sides. You may need to work in batches. Use the slotted spatula to evacuate the meatballs, leaving the remaining oil and rendered fat in the pan.
- Add the onions and reduce heat. Season with kosher salt to taste and saute about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger paste. Saute about 3 minutes or until fragrant.
- Stir in the spices and the tomatoes, with their juices. Bring to a boil.
- Add the meatballs. Cook until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Remove from heat. Allow to cool for about two minutes.
- Stir in the yogurt and mix well.