Recipe for grilled lamb meatballs in pita pockets

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 4

These meatballs come together quickly and are a fun, unusual way to feed a crowd using the grill. By mixing the ground lamb with a simple panade (a mixture of milk and bread), you end up with moist tender rounds, even if you encounter a few flare-ups on the grill. If you have the time, the meatballs benefit from sitting overnight in the fridge before cooking. Tuck yogurt sauce and crunchy salad vegetables into the pita pockets with the juicy meat.

SAUCE

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1 cup Greek yogurt
1 small cucumber, grated on the largest holes of a box grater
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

2. Stir well, cover, and refrigerate.

MEATBALLS

2 slices white bread, crusts removed, bread torn up
½ cup milk
2 pounds ground lamb
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground hot paprika
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
4 large pita rounds, split in half
½ head romaine lettuce, cored and thinly sliced
5 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths

1. In a bowl, combine the bread and milk. Stir well and set aside for 5 minutes.

2. With your fingers, mash the bread into a paste.

3. In another bowl, combine the lamb, cumin, paprika, parsley, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Mix well. Add the bread mixture and mix again until the meat and bread are evenly combined.

4. Use about 2 tablespoons of the mixture to shape meatballs. Sprinkle them with olive oil.

5. Light a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill to medium-high.

6. Grill the meatballs, turning often, for 5 minutes or until the outsides are golden and meatballs are cooked through.

7. Place pita rounds on the edge of the grill just until warm. Serve the bread, meatballs, yogurt sauce, lettuce, and scallions, letting guests make their own pockets.
Sydney Oland

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