Lamb Meatballs in Brandy Sauce

It is important to buy the lamb on the bone for this Spanish-inspired dish, as the stock is a critical component of the sauce. If a meat grinder is unavailable, a food processor seems to work well enough.

  • 5 pounds lamb shoulder chops, with bones
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 small onion
  • Bouquet garni of parsley stems, bay leaf, and thyme
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 4 cups fresh white bread crumbs
  • 1 cup Spanish brandy
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce

Cut the meat from the bones. Put the bones in a small pot with the onion, carrot, celery, bouquet garni, two garlic cloves, several peppercorns, and salt to taste. Cover with water and simmer for an hour or more, until the stock has reduced to two cups.

Crush the remaining peppercorns in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Moisten the bread crumbs with 1/4 cup of brandy. Mince the garlic with a pinch of salt. Grind the meat into a large bowl and mix with the parsley, bread crumbs, eggs, pepper, and salt to taste. Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and brown the meatballs on all sides, in batches. Chop the onion, add to the skillet, and cook until soft. Return the meatballs to the pan, pour the remaining brandy over the meatballs and onion, and ignite. As the flames subside, add the saffron, tomato sauce, and stock. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are done and the sauce is thick, about thirty minutes.