Greek Meatballs with an Avgolemono Sauce

 It has been a while since I made these meatballs.   Usually I make them out of pork or a combination of pork and beef.  But this time I used chicken.  
I hadn’t planned anything for dinner so when I got home from work I pulled some boneless chicken breasts out of the freezer, did a quick microwave defrost and  then ground them up in the food processor.  Dinner came together quickly.
While the meatballs browned I made a quick version of  the Avgolemono Sauce (roux, chicken broth, fresh squeezed lemon juice). I added the meatballs to the sauce and simmered on low for about an hour.  Because there were no eggs in this sauce there was no concern about the long simmer and curdling.

The green comes from the fresh dill and minced spinach.

Greek Meatballs with Avgolemono Sauce

These are extremely tender and flavourful meatballs. You can also use them to make Greek Cabbage rolls.
1 1/4 lbs Lean Ground Beef
1/2 lb lean ground pork
2 slices of bread, made into crumbs and soaked with milk
3 garlic cloves
1 small grated onion
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 to 1 cup chopped spinach, squeezed dry
1 tablespoon chopped mint/or dill
2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoons dried oregano
2 eggs
1/3 cup uncooked rice
salt and pepper to taste

5 cups chicken broth
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
juice of 1 large lemon (1/4 cup)
1 1/2 cups of broth (from cooking meatballs)

Makes approximately 48 meatballs.

Mix the two meats together well and add the rest of the ingredients and
mix well using hands.
Saute a small amount to taste for seasoning and adjust seasoning as
Form into meatballs the size of walnuts and saute until brown. Drain on
paper towels and then add to a pot of chicken broth.
Simmer for 40 minutes until tender.
Remove meatballs from broth. Strain broth and reserve 1 1/2 cups.
Return broth to stove and bring to a boil.
Beat egg yolks and egg with lemon juice and slowly whisk the hot broth
into egg mixture.
Return sauce to sauce pan and heat on low stirring until sauce
thickens. Do not bring to a boil.
Add meatballs and continue to heat until meatballs are hot and coated
with sauce.

As an alternative to the egg/lemon sauce, try doing this instead:
Make a roux with butter and flour, add the chicken stock that you cooked the meatballs in, simmer, add some of the hot sauce to an egg yolk and then slowly stir the mixture back into the remaining sauce. Add lemon juice. Add the meatballs and simmer on low for a few minutes. Do not boil if using the egg yolk.

NOTE:   I cheat sometimes and make the sauce using  just a roux.  Add the chicken broth and add the juice of a lemon or two.  This way I don’t have to add the eggs.

The meatballs can be browned and then simmered in this sauce without worrying that the sauce will curdle.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. mmmmmmmmm…che squisitezza!baci!!

  2. Peter M says:

    I've never seen Giouvarlakia (meatballs and Avgolemono) served with pasta but you make a strong argument here to try it out…nice one!

  3. Kathy Walker says:

    I don't believe I have ever tasted Avgolemono sauce. Mmmm…these look delicious. You can bet I will be tasting it!

  4. I do love avgolemono sauce. I remember being in a small roadside restaurant in the hora and almost everything on the menu was made with this lemony sauce.

  5. Why do I torture myself by visiting your lovely blog when I'm hungry? Hmmm, perhaps your blog makes me hungry? Yes, I'm SURE that's it!I'd love to try this variation of your recipe Ann ~ the chicken meatballs look tender, light and succulent. Count me in, I adore avgolemono sauce too ~ I must try it without eggs, have never done it that way before.

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