Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Hot Buttered Peas is adapted from The Basque Book by Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero.
- 6 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
- 2 roughly chopped peeled onions
- 1 roughly chopped carrot
- 2 leeks (white and light green parts roughly chopped and rinsed)
- 1 ½ cup red wine
- 12 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 2 pound ground lamb
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 onions (peeled and minced)
- 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- canola oil (as needed for frying)
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup diced, dry-cured Spanish chorizo
- 3 cup fresh and blanched or frozen peas
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter (at room temperature)
Make the stock: In a large saucepan, warm 3 tablespoons olive oil over high heat. Add the roughly chopped onions, carrot, and leeks and cook, stirring often, for about 7 minutes, until they just begin to color. Add wine and simmer for a few minutes until the alcohol cooks off. Add the stock and mint, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer the stock gently for an additional hour. Remove from heat, strain stock through a fine mesh sieve, and return to the saucepan. Set aside.
Make the meatballs: While the stock is simmering combine lamb, breadcrumbs, half of the minced onion, egg, paprika, cayenne, and allspice in a large bowl; fold to combine until the spices are well incorporated but without overworking the mixture. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
Shape the lamb mixture into 1-inch balls. Pour the canola oil to a depth of 3/4 inch into a deep straight-sided pan and place over high heat. Working batches, add the meatballs to the hot oil and fry, turning as needed, for 2 to 3 minutes, until evenly browned on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the paper-towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
Make the hot buttered peas: In a small saucepan, combine the remaining minced onion, bay leaf, chorizo, and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat and sweat for about 7 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is translucent. Add the peas, tossing to coat, and cook until just cooked through. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter.
Assemble the dish: Meanwhile, bring the prepared stock to a boil over high heat and turn down the heat to a simmer. Add the browned meatballs and simmer 3 to 4 minutes, until cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the warm meatballs to a warm serving dish, add the hot buttered peas, and fold together. Serve warm. Save the stock for another use.