Persian Meatballs and Cherries in Tamarind Sauce with Brown-braised Onions
So, I took 3 lbs of ground lamb, mixed with plain, small-cracked tabouli (already soaked and softened), made it into cherry-size meatballs and over roasted them at 425 (this browns them and gets rid of a lot of the fat.
I made a batch of 24 oz. (Fresh Direct delivers them peeled) of Julia Child's Brown-braised Onions, browning in a tiny amount of chicken fat (which I save in the freezer) in my very heavy-bottomed braising pan (so heavy that you really can brown with almost no fat), removed them from the braising pan, and set them to braise in a small saucepan in some leftover red wine.
I then thinly sliced 2 large onions and browned them in the braising pan. (I should say that I find many Persian recipes too bland, so I upped the quantities and in recipes for Persian meat stews with cherries, and browned the onions) I started by adding 1 lb of dried sour cherries and the cooking liquid (wine) from the braised pearl onions to the browned, sliced onions, simmered briefly, then added the meatballs and 3 tablespoons of tamarind paste. Not enough punch. So I added another pound of cherries, a little more of the leftover wine, and kept adding tamarind until I had used 3/4 of the 16 oz. jar of Setton Farms tamarind. And it tasted good.
I should say that Setton Farms Tamarind is a small label. I adore it, but I do find that the thickness and, I think, the tartness can vary. Tart cherries also vary in sourness. You really have to taste.
I kept the meatballs on low on the blech until dinner time, alongside the saucepan of brown-braised onions in wine, and served by filling a serving bowl with the Persian Meatballs with Cherries in Tamarind sauce, then poured the Brown-braised Onions on top. It looked kind of great and tasted wonderful