Accompanied by rice or bulgur pilaf, these baked meatballs are a winter specialty on the island of Kea.
Serves 4 to 6
For the avgolemono sauce: • 2 ½ cups chicken or beef broth
• 2 large eggs • 1 teaspoon corn starch
• 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
• salt and freshly ground black
For the meatballs: • 1 pound lean ground beef
• 2 cups finely chopped scallions (white and most of the green part) • 1 cup chopped parsley
• ½ cup dried breadcrumbs • 2 tablespoons olive oil, and more to brush the meatballs
• 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten • 1 to 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper, or a good pinch red pepper flakes, to taste
• Salt to taste
Make the avgolemono sauce:
Bring the broth to a very slow boil.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and two tablespoons water. Dilute the corn starch in the lemon juice and add it to the egg mixture. Whisking constantly, very slowly pour about half the boiling broth into the eggs. Slowly pour the egg mixture back to the saucepan with the broth, whisking constantly, to prevent the eggs from curdling. As the sauce thickens, taste and adjust the seasonings with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Prepare the meatballs:
In a bowl mix the ground meat with the scallions, parsley, breadcrumbs, olive oil and eggs. Season with red pepper and salt. Work the mixture well with the hands, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, and up to four hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Roll about one quarter-cup of the ground beef mixture with your hands into meatballs. Brush with olive oil and bake for about 30 minutes, until deep golden and firm.
Let cool a little and transfer to a serving platter. Pour some avgolemono sauce over the meatballs, if you like, and serve the rest on the side.
Aglaia Kremezi explores Kea's abundant winter in the slide show
In Greece, Winter is Feasting Season.