Lamb Meatball Tartines with Onion Jam

Recipe provided by | Recipe from Chef Alicia Jenish, Kitchit (San Francisco, CA)



1-1/4 pounds ground American Lamb
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dark chili powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons currants, plumped in warm water and drained
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
Canola oil, as needed

Onion Jam

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups finely chopped red onion (about 2 large)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick, 1-inch long
1/2 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


20 slices levain or rustic country loaf
4 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup arugula
1-1/2 teaspoons lightly toasted pine nuts
1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil



In a bowl, add lamb, onion and bread crumbs. Sprinkle salt, lemon zest, garlic, chili powder, cinnamon, coriander, and allspice; combine. Add parsley, currants, pine nuts and mint; combine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Scoop out 1-ounce portions of the lamb mixture, about the size of a golf ball. Roll the mixture to form a ball; place on lined baking sheet. Use cold water to dampen your hands if mixture begins to stick.

In a frying pan, heat about 1/2-inch of oil. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. When oil is hot, fry meatballs in batches without overcrowding the pan; cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden brown all over. Place on paper towel-lined baking sheet.

Onion Jam

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm oil. Add onions; cook until they begin to sweat. Add sugar, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, salt and pepper; cover and cook for approximately 30 minutes or until onion is soft but liquid remains in the pan. Remove lid and add vinegar; continue to cook until just barely moist. Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaf; discard. Set jam aside to cool.


Spread a scant tablespoon of onion jam on each piece of bread; place a small spoonful of goat cheese in the center. Put bread slices on a baking sheet and toast in oven until cheese is soft and melty and bread is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Remove from oven.

Toss arugula with nuts and oil. Arrange toasted bread pieces on a platter or individual plates. Top each tartine with a warm meatball; garnish with arugula salad. Serve immediately.

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