Adapted from Bon Appetit, Jan 2010.

This was a kick-ass recipe, as in, “If there were a contest between two chefs, and the first chef make this recipe, you would eat this recipe and then gently drift into sleep smiling, and the first chef would walk away with your wallet while the second chef cried like a baby and you wouldn’t care” recipe.

The name of the recipe in the magazine is “Lamb Kofte with Yogurt Sauce and Muhammara,” but I’ll never remember that when I want to look it up. I include it for the sake of authenticity. Speaking of, for the sake of authenticity, use flatbread or pita bread instead of tortillas and pomegranate molasses instead of pomegranate juice. And add some chopped mint to the meatballs.

A note on Greek yogurt: It’s the consistency of cheesecake and about as rich. It’s like the difference between Bartle’s & James wine coolers and a good red zinfandel, which is to say Greek yogurt is worth the money, so get some if you find it, especially if you’re going to make a thick, non-runny sauce, as in this recipe.

Tahini – the peanut butter of sesame seeds. This stuff keeps forever in your pantry, and you can make hummus at home with it for way cheaper than you can buy it. A good investment if you like Greek or other Mediterranean food.

Lamb Meatballs with Red-Pepper Pomegranate Sauce
1 c plain yogurt (Greek, if available)
2 T tahini
1 T lemon juice (1 lemon, add rind if possible)
Salt to taste
–Mix the above ingredients and set aside.

2 lbs ground lamb
1/4 c grated onion (or finely chopped – grated made for a more cohesive meatball)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T ground cumin
1 T ground chili powder
1 T ground pepper
1 T salt
1 egg
–Mix the above and form into LARGE meatballs, about 1 1/2-2 inches across. Place in heavy skillet. Heat to medium heat and cover. Turn the meatballs over after about 7 minutes.

1/2 c or more pomegranate juice
1 T sugar
1/2 c finely chopped drained roasted red peppers
Salt
–Add the juice and sugar to a saucepan and reduce the juice by about half. Add the red peppers and simmer for a few minutes, until the peppers practically fall apart. Add additional pomegranate juice to bring the sauce to the right consistency, if necessary. Add salt to taste, about 1/2 t.

Serve the meatballs on warm tortillas with the two sauces and chopped red onions and red peppers, if so desired.