Lamb Biryani Meatballs

I’ve been learning new-to-me software recently: SalesForceIQ (formerly RelateIQ), Asana, Slack, Box and Dropbox. All powerful and fascinating for this Gen X-er, who also happens to be a slow-adopter (quit snickering, Mr. Batch!) All of it makes it possible for me to do Virtual Assistant work for a company based in San Francisco, which has been a wonderful addition since mid-February. So far, it’s part-time and short-term — I’ve got my fingers crossed that it might last awhile.  Interesting stuff having to do with digital currency and blockchain technology.

As I experience how effective and efficient this software helps me to be, I continue to marvel at it all … the interwebs … and how much I use internet technology in work and life. I was just giving thanks for FaceBook, Instagram and texting for their help facilitating connections. And thinking back on my years with computers.  My family was among the first, at least in our hometown, who bought a personal computer back in the 70s.  Like good frugal parents (see last post), they bought an Apple II Plus during a visit to see my grandmother in Delaware, a state with no sales tax. I didn’t “take” to it much, but my brother and father had hours and hours of fun programming it and playing command-driven “Adventure” games.  Those games offered NO graphics!  Hard to imagine/remember, isn’t it?

When I was a Senior in high school, I took a Computer Math class from a fantastic … that can’t be emphasized enough … FANTASTIC teacher. He patiently taught us to write programs to solve math problems on TRS80 computers. I think the language we used was called “Basic.” I loved that class, with its logical, sequential process documenting cause and effect. He taught us “If-Then” statements.  Such as, “If X = 5, then go to Line 10.” Those were seminal in shaping how I continue to organize and plan — both in work and personal life — to this day.

Like many, I felt insecure in high school … as if I didn’t really “fit in.” Sometimes I still feel that way, but that’s a blog post for another time … hahaha! I remember my Computer Math teacher saying to me once, “You know, when I give assignments, I receive 25 of the same answers, with the program laid-out in the exact same order. And then I get yours.  You get to the same answer, but you always write a different program, in a different order, than the rest.”  At the time, what I heard him confirming were my fears: “You’re weird.”

It wasn’t until years later when I was under the tutelage of my mentor that I told her this story, and she very kindly remarked, “No!  He wasn’t saying that at all!  He was saying ‘You’re creative!'” Ah!  What a relief to have a new framework for this story! And what a gift she was (and is!) for so many reasons, including that she was a *model* for creativity. She taught me to look at recipes and tweak them here and there … make substitutions … figure out where rules could be broken … or at least bent.  It is with this model that I post a reprise of my Lamb Biryani meatballs.

And I do so, using WordPress software, that I’ll use to post over the internet. How cool!

Lamb Biryani Meatballs

Yield: 34 – 38 meatballs

The herb-spice flavorings in this recipe were inspired by Food & Wine magazine’s recent recipe for Hyderabadi Lamb Biryani.

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 pound ground beef
    • you could certainly use 2 pounds of ground lamb, or 2 pounds of ground beef. This is what I had on-hand from our local farm that offers pesticide/fertilizer/hormone-free, pasture-raised meats, Aberdeen Hill.
  • grated & chopped zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 of the lemon (approximately 2 Tablespoons)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 20 grinds of freshly cracked black pepper
  • leaves from 3 sprigs of mint (approximately 8 leaves), chopped
  • leaves from 20 stems of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • two inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled, grated & chopped
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 of a large yellow onion, fine-diced
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamon

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

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Ingredients for Lamb Biryani Meatballs

In small pan, heat a tiny bit of oil and add a smidge of the mixture. Cook all the way through, and then eat, to taste for salt- and spice-content. If you would like these to be a bit more seasoned or a bit spicier, add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt or another 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and re-test and taste.  Adjust all seasonings to your liking.

Roll into large walnut-size meatballs and place on large, parchment-lined baking sheet.  I used the parchment to keep them from sticking to the pan, and for easier clean-up. I’m guessing you could easily omit the parchment, and bake them on an ungreased pan.

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Lamb Biryani Meatballs, ready to be baked

Bake at 350-degrees Fahrenheit for 15 – 20  minutes.

I enjoyed these with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Oven-Braised Leeks, and a spinach salad that I ate with a little feta and sliced avocado. Leave off the feta and you have yourself  a Paleo meal!

As the tagline says: Make a lot!  Freeze some!  No go play!

I kept three portions in the refrigerator, and froze the rest to pull and enjoy another time:

It’s been cold and rainy here, so our fun has needed to be indoors. We watched the Oscars and are thrilled for Moonlight!!! And this weekend, I made bagels!  Not nearly as hard as I thought they’d be!  I used this recipe and am excited to make tweaks and try again!

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