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Persian Pomegranate Meatballs

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Servings: Serves 12

Cook Time: 270 minutes

Prep Time: 20 minutes


Persian Pomegranate Meatballs
11/2 cup Bulgur wheat, dry
11/2 cup Hot water
11/2 lb Ground lamb, 80% lean
1 lb Ground beef, 90% lean
1 each Medium onion, coarsley chopped
1 teaspoon Black pepper, freshly ground
2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon Ground cumin
2 each Large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup Chopped fresh mint
7/8 cup pomegranate molasses (found in the International aisle)
16 oz Pomegranate juice
3 tablespoon Cornstarch
12 oz Currant jelly
1 teaspoon Cider vinegar
11/2 cup Plain yogurt, non fat


A savory mixture of ground lamb, beef, cumin, mint, and bulgur wheat creates these cocktail-party treats. The sweet pomegranate sauce is a perfect match for the Persian-inspired meatballs. The meatballs and sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days before your party.
1. Prepare meatballs. Place bulgur in a medium bowl and pour hot water on top. Let soak for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine lamb, beef, onion, black pepper, salt, cumin, eggs, mint, and molasses.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with foil and spray with vegetable cooking spray.
4. Add bulgur to meat mixture and mix well. Form mixture into meatballs, each about 1 Tbsp. in size. (Keep a bowl of warm water nearby to dip your fingers in periodically - this will prevent them from becoming too sticky.) Place meatballs on prepared baking sheets, about 1/2 inch apart. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. You may need to bake meatballs in two batches. Refrigerate cooked meatballs or transfer to slow cooker.
5. While meatballs bake, prepare pomegranate sauce. In a medium saucepan, whisk pomegranate juice and cornstarch together until there are no lumps. Place over medium-high heat and bring mixture to a full boil, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, about 6 minutes.
6. When mixture has thickened, turn off heat and add jelly, pomegranate molasses, and vinegar. Whisk until smooth.
7. If desired, refrigerate meatballs and sauce until needed. If using immediately, transfer cooked meatballs to slow cooker. Add sauce and mix very gently to coat meatballs, being careful that they don't break up. Cover and cook on Low for 2 hours, stirring once after 1 hour. Refrigerated meatballs and sauce will take 3 hours to cook; stir once after 1 hour 30 minutes. Serve warm from slow cooker, with yogurt and chopped fresh mint, if desired, in bowls on the side.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, November - December 2008

Nutritional Information

* Percent Daily Values are based on 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

  Calories 2,000 2,500
Total Fat Less Than 65g 80g
Saturated Fat Less Than 20g 25g
Cholesterol Less Than 300mg 300mg
Sodium Less Than 2,400mg 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate Less Than 300g 375g
Dietary Fiber Less Than 25g 30g
Nutritional Facts
Servings Serves 12
Base Nutrients
Calories 441 kcal (22%)
Calories from Fat 225 kcal (0%)
Total Fat 25 g (38%)
Saturated Fat 17 g (85%)
Cholesterol 79 mg (26%)
Sodium 491 mg (20%)
Total Carbohydrates 71 g (23%)
Dietary Fiber 11 g (44%)
Protein 24 g (40%)
Vitamin A 56 IU (1%)
Vitamin C 9 mg (15%)
Calcium 159 mg (3%)
Iron 15 mg (25%)

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