Friday, February 15, 2013

Greek Lamb Sausages in Tomato Sauce

Okay, I'll be honest:  these are really more meatballs than sausages; I mean, they involve ground meat patted into more or less ball type things--so, meatballs.

But then, as I was writing the title of this post, I thought, "Meatballs.  If I say meatballs, no one will look at this recipe."  And at that moment I understood exactly what Jacqueline Clarke and Joanna Farrow were thinking in A TASTE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN when they decided on the whole "sausages" thing.  

And trust me:  these meatba--er, sausages deserve your attention.  They're stunningly flavorful, but mild enough that the kids will like them too.  They take a bit of time, so I'd recommend them for weekend meals, at least the first few times you try them.  After that, you'll be so addicted you'll make them on a weekday even if it means staying up until midnight to do it.  

Greek Lamb Sausages in Tomato Sauce

1 cup fresh bread crumbs*
2/3 cup milk
1.5 lbs. ground lamb
2 tablespoons grated onion (I know:  weird, right?)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Flour for dusting
1/4 cup olive oil
2.5 cups tomato sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 bay leaves
1 small onion, peeled (but NOT chopped!)
Salt and fresly-ground black pepper to taste

*Be sure to make your own:  basically, toss 2-4 slices of bread in the food processor and pulse until you've got fairly fine crumbs.  

  1. Combine the bread crumbs and the milk. 
  2. Add the lamb, onion, garlic, cumin, parsley, and salt and pepper.  Mix well with your hands. 
  3. Shape the meat mixture into fat little ovals, about two inches long, rolling each one in the flour and setting aside. 
  4. Mix the tomato sauce, sugar and bay leaves in a pan. 
  5. Peel the onion and cut off the ends.  Put the whole onion in the tomato sauce.  Simmer for 20 minutes. 
  6. Heat the oil in a separate frying pan to medium.  
  7. Fry the sausages for about 8 minutes, turning occasionally until browned evenly. 
  8. Remove sausages and place on paper town to drain. 
  9. Add the sausages to the tomato sauce and cook on medium low for about 10 more minutes.  
  10. Serve with a green salad and/or risotto.  

Family Ratings

Lucy, who increasingly likes anything, and the weirder the better:  10
Will, who still resists rating anything as highly as fajitas:  8
Jamie, who can sometimes surprise us by gobbling things down:  9
Ellen, who loves the taste of lamb but feels guilty . . . : 8
Paul, who loves the simplicity of the flavors in this dish:  10