Lamb Meatballs in Cranberry Wine Sauce (with Mint Green Mash)

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Don’t let the title fool you, this isn’t nearly as gourmet-rubbish as it sounds, and it’s deceptively easy.  Lamb has a delicious rich flavour that pairs wonderfully with the acidity of wine and berries, and the cool fresh taste of mint.  The meatballs are incredibly simple and filling, and the mash provides the sturdy backbone of the dish.

Ingredients (makes about 16 meatballs/3-4 portions)

For the meatballs

  • Around 1 pound of Lamb mince
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Egg
  • Splash of milk
  • 1-2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Sprinkling salt and Pepper
  • Spoonful of cranberry sauce

For the sauce

  • Glass of red wine
  • 4-5 tbsp cranberry sauce
  • Half a glass of stock
  • 1 tsp butter

For the mash

  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Mint Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper
  • (optional – milk/cream/butter)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to around 210C.
  2. In a bowl combine all of the meatball ingredients together.
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  3. Shape into balls around the size of a golf ball and place onto a lightly greased foil lined baking tray.  Bake for around 20 minutes, until nicely browned.  You may need to drain the fat once or twice – I prefer baking as it extracts the fat particularly well here.
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  4. Peel and boil 1 large potato per person along with a generous handful or two of spinach.
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  5. When full cooked mash, adding a teaspoon or two of mint sauce and salt to taste.  If you want, add butter etc. but I find the mint sauce makes it velvety enough, while retaining it’s shape.
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  6. In a wide pan combine and heat the cranberry sauce and wine until reduced by about half.
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  7. Add the stock and continue to cook until it has reduced a tad more.  Taste at this stage – if it’s sharp, add a sprinkling of brown sugar.  When it has reduced to a runny syrupy consistency, stir in the butter.
  8. Add the meatballs to the sauce, and you are ready to serve.

Serving

I found a few pieces of chopped cucumber and mint leaves maintained the cool refreshing aspects of the dish, as again, the lamb and sauce are very rich.

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