We had a nice simple pot roast with mashed potatoes and gravy the other night. Really good, but too normal for a blog post. It was fresh and local, though. The roast was a Neola Farms chuck roast, the gravy was thickened with croutons from Shoaf’s Loaf, and the potatoes were from Ly Vu Produce. There was more than enough roast for that meal, so there were leftovers.
I tried to think of something interesting and different to do with the leftover roast and got inspired by the recent newsletter we got from the Greek Food and Wine Institute. They had a really great looking recipe for meatballs with yogurt from Thrace by Vefa Alexiadou, author of Vefa’s Kitchen
. They call her the Julia Child of Greek food for a reason. Anyway, I had beef, eggs, bread crumbs, onions, and yogurt, so I thought I would give a what-I-have-on-hand version of this a try.
It turned out pretty well. Patric ate seconds and would have eaten thirds if there hadn’t been cobbler on the menu. He’s planning to have the leftovers of these leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Anyway, here’s my lazy woman’s version of Vefa’s recipe. (I still want to try it her way, too.)
- For the meatballs:
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used crumbs from Cucina's Kalamata Olive Bread.)
- 1/4 cup red wine (More wouldn't have hurt, but that's what was left in the bottle.)
- 4 cups shredded cooked pot roast
- 3 tablespoons Greek seasoning (I used Penzeys.)
- 2 tablespoons toasted dried onions (Penzeys again.)
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 3 eggs, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (If you don't have Greek yogurt, strain 2 cups of plain yogurt.)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups white rice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the onions into a saucepan with enough water to cover. Add the salt to the saucepan. Bring the water and onions to a boil and continue boiling for 20 minutes.
- Soak the breadcrumbs in the wine for 5 minutes in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the pot roast, Greek seasoning, dried onions, vinegar, and two eggs to the breadcrumb mixture. Using your fingers, work the mixture until combined. Add water if additional water is needed to hold the mixture together. Form into meatballs roughly the size of golf balls.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sear the meatballs on each side for 2 minutes. This will help the meatballs stay together.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the yogurt and 1 egg, stirring until smooth.
- Drain the water from the onions and lay them in a single layer in the bottom of a medium baking dish. Layer the meatballs on top of the onions and top with the yogurt mixture.
- Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes or until the yogurt sauce is beginning to brown.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and lemon zest and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the lemon juice and salt, stirring to combine.
- Add the rice and continue cooking for 3 minutes or until the rice is beginning to become translucent.
- Add 4 cups of boiling water, cover the saucepan, and reduce the heat to low.
- Cook for 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork before serving.
- Serve the meatballs over the lemon rice.