Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Lamb Meatballs with Pineapple Barbecue Sauce

We recently ordered a whole lamb we had processed from Old McCaskills Farm because we love lamb, and buying meat in bulk (when you can) is so much more affordable. When you purchase the lamb this way, you also get to choose your cuts, specializing it to your particular tastes or needs.

Lamb is a delicious alternative to other meats, such as beef, and the best lamb comes from small local family farms who dedicate themselves to raising the very best lambs they can. All organic, no antibiotics or added growth hormones, raised humanely on pasture, it is the best of the best.

What are the health benefits of lamb?  
  • Lamb meat is an excellent source of high quality protein.
  • Lamb meat is an ideal source of iron. An average portion can provide 20 per cent of the recommended daily intake for men and 12 per cent for women. The iron found in lamb meat and other red meat is in a form that is easily absorbed by the body. The inclusion of iron in the diet is vital in the formation of red blood cells.
  • Lamb meat provides 45 per cent of the daily requirement of zinc, essential for growth, healing and a healthy immune system. Like iron, the zinc found in lamb meat is more easily absorbed by the body than zinc found in other sources.
  • Lamb meat is a great source of B vitamins, essential for metabolic reactions in the body. It can provide over 100 per cent of the daily requirement of B12 and is a good source of thiamine.
  • Lamb meat also contains trace elements such as copper, manganese and selenium.
  • As a result of breeding developments, feeding practices, butchery methods and trimming, the fat in lamb meat has been greatly reduced over the past 20 years. For example, Lamb Leg Steaks may contain as little as 5.1 per cent fat.
  • Half the fat in lamb meat is unsaturated, which is good for you. Most of the unsaturated fat is monounsaturated, commonly found in the healthy 'Mediterranean-type diet'
Don't want to buy a lot of lamb, or want to go with one of the least expensive, yet most versatile "cuts" of  lamb, try ground lamb. Use it in place of ground beef or pork  in any of your favorite recipes for a delicious twist. That's what I did the other night when I made these delicious lamb meatballs. Who knew barbecue sauce and pineapple could be so good together?

1 lb. ground lamb
1 tsp mint leaves
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp course-ground black pepper
1 farm fresh egg
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 - 20 oz can chunk pineapple with juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine ground lamb and next 6 ingredients. Mix well with your hands until combined and shape into medium-sized meatballs.  Place meatballs in a covered baking dish, sprayed lightly with cooking spray.

Bake meatballs approx. 15 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and drain any grease. Meanwhile, put 1 cup barbecue sauce and 1/2 of a 20-ounce can of chunk pineapple with a 1/2 can of the pineapple juice into a small sauce pan. Heat over medium low heat and spoon about 1/2 the sauce over the cooked meatballs.

Return the meatballs with sauce to the oven and bake covered another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir well and serve meatballs over rice with additional sauce.

Serves: 4


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