Z’aatar Spiced Meatballs with Tomato and Yogurt
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground veal or lamb
1 lb. ground pork
1 onion, finely minced
3 cloves garlic pressed or minced
½ cup breadcrumbs or cooked rice
1 Tbsp. Z’aatar spice
1 large can diced tomatoes
2 cups whole-fat Greek yogurt
Salt and Pepper
**You can use any combination of ground meat you like here. You can do two-parts beef and one of pork, all beef, all lamb, etc., but try to get three pounds of meat total.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the meat, onion, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, and Z’aatar. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Use your hands to combine, mixing and folding as if you are kneading bread—the mixture should be evenly distributed. Form into 2” balls and place them on a sheet tray. Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat and add 2 Tbsp. of oil. Brown the meatballs on all sides, working in batches so that the pan does not get crowded (add more oil, as needed). Place cooked meatballs on a separate tray or plate. When all the meatballs are browned, reduce the heat and add the tomato product. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned bits of meat. Put all the meatballs back into the pot—now you can pack them tightly together. Place lid on the pot and simmer very gently on low heat (or place in a low oven, 300 degrees F) for 30 minutes. To serve, divide meatballs into bowls and spoon some of the tomato sauce over them. Each portion should get a big dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh dill. Serve with roasted eggplant on the side for extra awesomeness!