Keftedes (Greek Meatballs) with Avgolemono Sauce

The herbs are thriving in the cooler weather, so it’s a great time to make some keftedes (Greek meatballs). Sometimes, we have them with a sweetly spiced tomato sauce, and sometimes with Avgolemono sauce. Either way, this meal is something special.

Keftedes with Avgolemono Sauce

Ingredients for the meatballs:

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

1 c. fresh herbs: a mix of parsley, oregano, and mint leaves (discard tough stems); this will be about 1/3 c. chopped herbs

1 minced yellow onion

2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/3 c. bread crumbs

1/3 c. milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Method:

If you are grilling, make the sauce ahead of time. If you are baking, you can make the sauce while the meatballs bake.

Preheat oven to 350°F or heat grill.

Chop fresh herbs, add to bowl with all other ingredients, in order listed. Mix thoroughly.

meatball mixture

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly.

Form small meatballs, about 2 inches in diameter. Keftedes are traditionally shaped in ovals, but I just stick with spheres. They taste the same either way!

Meatballs shaped into spheres

Keftedes ready for the oven.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Grilling is, of course, faster.

Serve with sauce.

Ingredients for the avgolemono sauce:

Juice of 1 lemon

2 eggs

1 c. chicken stock

4 T. butter

4 T. flour

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Heat the chicken stock in a medium saucepan.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small frying pan, and stir in the flour. Whisk over medium heat until the mixture starts to brown. Add a few tablespoons of chicken broth to loosen the mixture, then pour the flour mixture into the pot of chicken broth, stirring. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat.

In another small bowl, beat the eggs. Put some of the chicken broth mixture into the eggs to temper them, then add the eggs to the broth pot, continuing to stir.

Now, stir in the lemon juice. Do not boil the mixture once you’ve added the eggs and lemon, but you can reheat it (stirring) before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.

kalí̱ órexi̱

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