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lamb meatballs on labneh

Lamb Meatballs with Pomegranate Molasses Barbeque Sauce

  • Author: Cosette's Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 65 meatballs 1x
  • Category: Lebanese
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Description

A combination of warm spices, tangy pomegranate molasses make these lamb meatballs stand out. The barbeque sauce is an added bonus which elevates the dish but amazing on its own too! 


Ingredients

Scale

Pomegranate Molasses Barbeque Sauce

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced (you can also sub onion) – 3 Tablespoons
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 ounces tomato paste (one small can)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or any vinegar, white, rice or red wine would work well)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (can sub honey or brown sugar)
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (stone ground or smooth)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (sweet paprika is fine too)
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (can sub Aleppo pepper or chili pepper for less heat)
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt*
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 Tablespoon bourbon** (optional)

Lamb Meatballs

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, (diced) 
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided*
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander 
  • 1 cup fine bulgur
  • 1/3 cup milk, (any type of milk will work including alternatives)
  • 2 pound ground American Lamb
  • 2 Tablespoons dried mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons toum (optional but recommended)

Instructions

Pomegranate Molasses Barbeque Sauce

  1. In a medium sized pot heat your olive oil and add your minced onion. Cook over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes until slightly translucent. 
  2. Next, add your minced garlic and heat until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Finally, add your remaining ingredients and whisk to incorporate everything over medium-high heat. The mixture will slightly thicken and bubble after 5-7 minutes. 
  4. Remove from heat and set aside.

Lamb Meatballs

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat your olive oil on medium heat. Add your onion and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt (half if using table salt)  and allow to cook and soften for 5-7 minutes until slightly translucent.
  3. Add your minced garlic as well as your allspice, cinnamon and coriander. Allow garlic and spices to cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. In a small bowl, add your bulgur (or breadcrumbs) and milk. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, add your ground lamb, cooled onion spice mixture, eggs, bulgur mixture, dried mint, ground pepper, remaining 3 teaspoons of kosher salt (half if using table salt), pomegranate molasses and toum.
  6. Using clean hands, work all the ingredients into a cohesive mixture.
    **Pro tip – to test your mixture for flavor and salt, take a small bit and pop into microwave for 10-15 seconds or pan fry (in your onion/spice pan) and taste.
  7. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop a small portion of lamb mixture and form into a small ball. If weighing for consistency or for an idea how large they should be, each should weigh about 25 grams and measure about 1-1.5″ across.
  8. Bake one tray at a time at 425 degrees for 12 minutes in the upper 1/3 of your oven. Ground lamb should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  9. Remove and serve with pomegranate barbeque sauce, labneh and pomegranate seeds.

Notes

Salt – I only cook with kosher salt, I prefer Diamond Kosher salt for my cooking. Kosher salt has a less salty taste than table salt. If using table salt, be sure to half in the recipe and taste for saltiness.

*Freeze – These meatballs freeze extremely well! After you roll your meatballs, pop the whole sheet pan in the freezer and allow to freeze solid. Once frozen, pop into a ziplock bag. When you want meatballs, pop into oven, they may require an extra few minutes if cooking from freezer. You can also freeze cooked meatballs.

*Cooking Temperature – Please ensure your lamb is cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 

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