Lamb MeatballĀ Grinders

March 21, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I moved to Texas from Rhode Island 27 years ago, and I love it here, the weather, the people, the culture, all of it - but one thing I miss to this day is a good meatball grinder. I decided to take lamb week and rectify the situation ... so here you go, a Rhode Island meatball grinder from a Naturalized Texan .... —aargersi

What You'll Need
  • Lamb Meatballs
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup finely minced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup fresh bread - ripped up (I used the hollowed out centers of my rolls)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 4 good sprigs of fresh oregano
  • olive oil
  • Simple Marinara
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 - 28 ounces can of San Marzano tomatoes (juice and all)
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 4 good sprigs fresh oregano
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 4 rolls - I found fresh soft egg rolls that were intended to be hot dog buns, perfect sized, but go with what looks good!
  • sliced fontina cheese - a lot or a little depending on how much you love cheese. I went with a lot.
  1. Lamb Meatballs
  2. Heat the oven to 400. Whisk together the milk and egg, season with salt and pepper then add the bread and mix it all together thoroughly.
  3. Pull the oregano leaves off the stems and chop them up. In a large bowl, mix together the lamb, oregano, parmesan, onion and garlic. Then add the milk and bread mixture and work it all together evenly. Use you hands - it's fun! You might add a bit more salt and pepper too (before your hands get all lamby)
  4. Heat a large skillt to medium high, and just cover the bottom with olive oil. While the skillet is heating form your meatballs - make them about ping-pong ball sized, you should get 20 to 22 meatballs. Wash your hands.
  5. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and lightly coat it with olive oil.
  6. Cook the meatballs in the skillet for several minutes, until the first side you put in has a nice brown on it, then transfer them to the cookie sheet and into the oven to finish cooking. This will take maybe 10-15 minutes depending on your oven. When the meatballs are cooked, remove them from the oven and set them aside on a plate. Leave the oven on.
  1. Simple Marinara
  2. Cover the bottom of a largeish saucepan with olive oil, and heat to medium high. Saute the onions for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, then rinse the can with red wine and pour that in too. Add a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper, along with the sugar, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the liquid has reduced down some. You don't want a thin sauce.
  3. Turn off the heat. Using an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender or processor) and blend the sauce thoroughly, then add the fresh herbs (discard the stems) and blend those in too. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and you're done!
  4. Assemble your grinders - cut the top 1/4 or so off the rolls and hollow them out so you have bread "canoes". My canoes kept wanting to tip over so I made each one it's own little aluminum foil support structure to sit in. A canoe in a canoe. Put 2-3 tbs of sauce in each roll then add meatballs to fill them, I was able to fit 4 meatballs per roll. Then top with more sauce (I like a LOT of sauce but this is entirely up to you) and finish them by topping with fontina cheese - again how much is up to you.
  5. Into the oven with them until the cheese is nice and melted. At this point you can run them under the broiler for a little extra golden crust on the cheese. My broiler stinks though so it didn't work that great (note to self - new stove)
  6. Take them out, and ENJOY!!!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lapadia
  • dymnyno
  • Food Blogga
    Food Blogga
  • mrslarkin
  • aargersi

Recipe by: aargersi

Country living, garden to table cooking, recent beek, rescue all of the dogs, #adoptdontshop

9 Reviews

lapadia August 7, 2010
Love the picture and the idea, not a lamb person...these would work with beef though!
aargersi August 9, 2010
Yeah definitely - use beef if you don't love lamb!!
dymnyno August 7, 2010
I love lamb and your meatballs sound delish!!! I'll be in Texas in November...
aargersi August 7, 2010
Hey we will be in Texas in November too :-) Please call / email so we can get together - OOH - would you have time for a potluck?? If no, we'll at least meet you at Mulberry!
Food B. March 25, 2010
This Rho - Dylander gives your lamb meatball grinders two thumbs up. What a creative idea!
aargersi March 26, 2010
Thanks FB! That means a lot coming from a fellow Rhody! I missed the meatbawl grindah - but no more! (p.s. I ate ... drumroll please ... 2.5 of these over the course of the weekend. Good grief.)
lastnightsdinner August 9, 2010
I love it! So as a non-native Rhode Islander, what are your recommendations for the best grinders in the state?
mrslarkin March 21, 2010
Yum! Those are some tasty lookin' canoes!
aargersi March 22, 2010
Thanks Mrs Larkin! I am not sure they evoke SPRING really, well unless canoeing is a spring activity??? But they taste good!