Recently I was able to buy some organic saltbush lamb. I had heard about its unique flavour and less fattiness and decided to try it for myself. The lamb comes from South Australia where the special Dorper lambs graze on the drought tolerant Old Man Saltbush plants and grass, making the farming of these lambs and land management practices more sustainable. In addition the benefits of the meat having no added antibiotics, preservatives, hormones or growth promotants and the fact that the sheep are grazed on certified organic native grasses and saltbush make it sought after world wide. The keftedes, tasty Greek meatballs that we made from the saltbush lamb mince were tender and delicious and I look forward to cooking a saltbush leg of lamb in the future. Here is an image of the saltbush lamb mince and the great colour and leaness is obvious. (Just place your curser over the image to enlarge for detail)
Greek Keftedes are famous as appetizers and served with a mese platter of vegetables, olives, greek yoghurt dips like Tzatziki, and served with pita bread. I have included the recipe for a simple Greek Yoghurt dip to serve with the Keftedes.
Saltbush Lamb Greek Keftedes
- 1/2 kg minced saltbush lamb (or other lamb mince if not available wher you live)
- 1/2 large red onion, grated
- 1 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped finely
- 1 Tblsp ground cumin
- 1 Tblsp ground coriander
- 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- pepper, freshly ground
- Plain flour for dusting
- Preheat oven to 200C
- Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix, pressing with your hands, so that they could combine well
- Cover the bowl with cling wrap and allow the mixture to rest in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Shape the mixture into balls, the size of a walnut.
- Dredge each meatball in seasoned flour until well covered.
- Transfer meatballs to a plate, shaking off any excess flour.
- Brown the meatballs quickly in olive oil over medium-high heat in batches turning until browned.
- With a slotted spoon remove the meatballs from the pan and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper
- Place the tray into the hot oven and bake for 20 minutes or until well cooked
- Serve with lemon wedges and a mese platter of mixed antipasto vegetables, crisp baby Cos lettuce leaves and pita bread
Greek Yoghurt Dip
- tub of Greek yogurt (200 g.)
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
- 1 lemon (juice and a little of the zest)
- 1 Tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt, cayenne or freshly ground black pepper as preferred
- In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together and place in the fridge for 2 hours so that the flavours can develop.
- Serve the yoghurt dip as an accompaniment to the Keftedes