Lamb Meatballs Glazed with Toota’s Pepper Jelly

This pepper jelly recipe comes by way of my great aunt – In true southern fashion it has loads of sugar. Normally, I’d look to moderate, but here the sweetness makes for a wonderful condiment for my baked lamb meatballs, or when served with goat cheese and crackers. The recipe makes several jars of jelly, so feel free to scale it down if you like, or gift to friends and family. It will last for a few weeks in the fridge, so you can make the condiment ahead, allowing you to prep dinner in stages. The meatballs, too, can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen until ready to bake off.

Lamb Meatballs Glazed with Toota’s Pepper Jelly

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
This pepper jelly recipe comes by way of my great aunt – In true southern fashion it has loads of sugar. Normally, I'd look to moderate, but here the sweetness makes for a wonderful condiment for my baked lamb meatballs, or when served with goat cheese and crackers. The recipe makes several jars of jelly, so feel free to scale it down if you like, or gift to friends and family. It will last for a few weeks in the fridge, so you can make the condiment ahead, allowing you to prep dinner in stages. The meatballs, too, can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen until ready to bake off.
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Course Appetizer
Servings 20 small meatballs

Ingredients
 

For the Jelly:

  • 3 jalapeno peppers
  • 3 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into pieces
  • 1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 ¼ cups (650 grams) sugar
  • 1 ounce pectin, about ¼ cup

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 10 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup grated onion
  • 2 small garlic clove, grated finely
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin

Instructions
 

For the Jelly:

  • Use a food processor to finely chop the jalepeno and bell peppers. Place them in a large saucepan with the vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil. Cook at a steady boil for 90 seconds.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the pectin. Boil again for another 90 seconds, then remove from the heat again. Let it cool slightly before spooning into jars to cool completely. Jelly will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.

For the Meatballs:

  • Preheat our oven to 375 F.
  • Combine all ingredients for the lamb meatballs, except the lamb, in a bowl and mix until completely combined. Add the lamb to the mixture and combine very thoroughly with your hands.
  • Shape into small, bite-sized balls. Place them on a sheet pan or large baking dish, then bake for 12 minutes.
  • Remove the meatballs from the oven and drain the fat. Top each meatball with a teaspoon of the pepper jelly and return to the oven. Bake 10 minutes more. The jelly should slightly caramelize and the meat should just be cooked through. Serve warm.
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