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Great braises for Shabbat - starting new thread with this recipe for Persian meatballs and Cherries in Tamarind sauce and Brown-braised Onions, because braises work so well for Friday evening

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Persian Meatballs and Cherries in Tamarind Sauce with Brown-braised Onions

So, I took 3 lbs of ground lamb, mixed with plain, small-cracked tabouli (already soaked and softened), made it into cherry-size meatballs and over roasted them at 425 (this browns them and gets rid of a lot of the fat.

I made a batch of 24 oz. (Fresh Direct delivers them peeled) of Julia Child's Brown-braised Onions, browning in a tiny amount of chicken fat (which I save in the freezer) in my very heavy-bottomed braising pan (so heavy that you really can brown with almost no fat), removed them from the braising pan, and set them to braise in a small saucepan in some leftover red wine.

I then thinly sliced 2 large onions and browned them in the braising pan. (I should say that I find many Persian recipes too bland, so I upped the quantities and in recipes for Persian meat stews with cherries, and browned the onions) I started by adding 1 lb of dried sour cherries and the cooking liquid (wine) from the braised pearl onions to the browned, sliced onions, simmered briefly, then added the meatballs and 3 tablespoons of tamarind paste. Not enough punch. So I added another pound of cherries, a little more of the leftover wine, and kept adding tamarind until I had used 3/4 of the 16 oz. jar of Setton Farms tamarind. And it tasted good.

I should say that Setton Farms Tamarind is a small label. I adore it, but I do find that the thickness and, I think, the tartness can vary. Tart cherries also vary in sourness. You really have to taste.

I kept the meatballs on low on the blech until dinner time, alongside the saucepan of brown-braised onions in wine, and served by filling a serving bowl with the Persian Meatballs with Cherries in Tamarind sauce, then poured the Brown-braised Onions on top. It looked kind of great and tasted wonderful

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  1. Plain tabouli= fine bulgur?

    This sounds similar to the lamb meatballs I've made from Jerusalem

    2 Replies
    1. re: cheesecake17

      Yes. Tabouli/bulgur is a simple way to lighten (bind, soften) a meatball. You don't really notice it in the cooked meatballs, except that they're soft.

      I love meatballs, and my family and guests certainly do.

      1. re: AdinaA

        Although by tabouli Adina means bulgur, tabouli is actually the name of the salad made from chopped parsley, mint, lemon juice and usually bulgur, although tabouli can also be made without bulgur at all.

    2. That sounds absolutely amazing--will have to try it!

      1. I tried this chicken/coconut cream/pumpkin curry on Friday night, following a cold soup: http://cauldronsandcupcakes.com/2014/...
        I used whole chicken legs instead of diced meat.
        It was delicious -- rich & satisfying, interestingly flavored with lots of delicious sauce. Held up very nicely for a couple of hours on the plata.