Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cinnamon Meatballs

Cinnamon Meatballs

Greek food is definitely one of my favorite cuisines and I'm always up for going to a Greek restaurant. But even though I love many things on the menu, I tend to wander back to my favorite option which is pastitsio. Layers of spiced beef, pasta and cheesy bechamel sauce all baked together. What is there not to love? And yes, I've tackled making it myself at home. Still, when I think of easy weeknight dinners, I don't think of homemade pastitsio. I do, however, think of meatballs. So, pastitsio meatballs? Coming right up!

Cinnamon Meatballs
Ultimately, the flavor that's most prevalent in the dish is cinnamon. It's an unusual beef ingredient in American cooking but not in either Greek or Middle Eastern dishes and it's just wonderful.

I always think the easiest way to recreate favorite flavors is just to make a meatball version of it so I added the traditional pastitsio cinnamon and oregano to both the beef and the sauce. And instead of the traditional thick egg and yogurt sauce, I just combined a cheesy bechamel with tomato sauce and got the same flavors in an easier method. Maybe not exactly the original, which still gets made when I have more time, but a nice way to incorporate the flavors in a quicker meal. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Meatballs
by Hungry Couple
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Ingredients (6 - 8 Servings)
  • Meatballs:
  • 1 lb. Ground beef
  • 1 Onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 Cup breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Sauce:
  • 1 Clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 Cups milk
  • 1 Cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Cinnamon Meatballs
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combined the beef, onion, egg, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, parsley, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Mix until combined and form meatballs. (I used a 1 oz. scoop.)

Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes.

Make the sauce by adding the butter and garlic to a large pan and sauteing for a minute on medium heat, just until the garlic is slightly translucent. Add the flour and whisk until it's thoroughly coated in the butter. Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth and continue cooking on medium low heat for a few minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Add the tomato sauce, oregano, Parmesan, salt and pepper.

When the meatballs are done, add them to the sauce and continue cooking, on low heat, for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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  1. This recipe looks cool and awesome. I never try of mixing cinnamon with meatballs like you do. It looks so yummy !

  2. I am a crazy fan of meatballs, your pictures make me hungry so much, this looks so delicious, I will surely try your recipe. Thank you so much for sharing this!


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