Meatballs with egg and lemon sauce

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This is Emin’s recipe. It’s a peasant dish, which he first tasted as a child when he went into the kitchen and found the servants of the house eating it. He always preferred it to the chef’s grander creations.

Ingredients

  • good handful of flat-leafed parsley
  • 1 medium onion
  • 500 g lean minced lamb
  • 100 g long-grain rice
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 100 ml water
  • 4 level teaspoons plain flour
  • 25 g butter
  • 1 rounded teaspoon paprika
  • sea salt, black pepper

Method

Pull the leaves off the parsley stems and chop them finely. Peel the onion and chop finely. Put the mince in a bowl and mix in the chopped parsley and onion, the rice and a good seasoning of salt and black pepper. Using wet hands, form the mixture into little balls, about the size of a small marble.

Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan, then drop in the meatballs. As it returns to the boil, remove any scum from the surface with a metal spoon. Lower the heat, cover and simmer very gently for 30 minutes.

In a small saucepan, whisk the egg with the lemon juice and water. Sift in the flour and whisk until smooth. Place over a medium heat and slowly bring to the boil, stirring with a wooden spoon; if the sauce gets too thick to stir easily, add a little more water. Now gradually stir the sauce into the meatball pan and spoon carefully into a round, heated serving dish.

Before serving, melt the butter with the paprika in a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir around for 3 minutes, then trickle over the meatballs.

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