Louisiana style lamb meatballs served with rice makes a hearty winter meal.

Louisiana style lamb meatballs served with rice makes a hearty winter meal.

Café Brulot has been a favorite of Louisiana folks for many years, and no wonder. The gentle citrus flavors topped with orange liqueur will perk up anyone’s after–dinner festivities. I have taken this flavor and slathered it over lamb, making these the tastiest meatballs you will ever eat.

1 pound ground lamb
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon each salt and
black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five
spice powder

Cafe Brulot Sauce:

2 cups strong, brewed
1/4 cup orange liqueur
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon each grated
lemon and orange peel
Pinch each ground cloves
and cinnamon

11/2 tablespoons cornstarch
11/2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make meatballs by combining lamb, bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper and Chinese 5-spice powder. Make 15 meatballs, placing each in an appropriate sized baking pan, with at least an inch-high side. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until completely done inside.

Meanwhile, make Make Café Brulot Sauce. Add all ingredients, except cornstarch and water, to a large saucepan. Bring to a light boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. Strain into a bowl and return to pot. Bring to a boil once again. In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and water until smooth, creating a slurry. When coffee mixture is boiling, add slurry, whisk very well and cook one additional minute, until it thickens. Remove from heat and cover until needed.

Remove meatballs from oven, drain and transfer to saucepan with sauce. Stir to combine and serve immediately.

— Chef Jim Bailey is The Yankee Chef and an authority on New England food and its history. He is a respected food columnist from Maine and is married with four children. You can email questions or comments to [email protected] and visit theyankeechef. blogspot.com.

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