Ginger Glazed Lamb and Beef Lollipops

Any person who has visited Israel knows that a stroll through the shuk (Israeli market) is a multi-sense experience: the bright colors, the sweet and spicy smells, the mix of loud voices and of course the endless flavors. This magical experience is heightened before Jewish and Israeli festivities, and especially around the High Holidays. The apples and honey, the red pomegranates, round challah bread and many other traditional foods can be found in every corner.

On many holiday tables we can find circular shaped foods that symbolize the cyclical nature of the year. This lamb dish, made with pine nuts, currants, cinnamon and a silan ginger glaze, is inspired by the round shape of holiday foods and also some traditional Persian flavors. In this unique lamb dish, the ground meat gets served right on a cinnamon stick making it easy to eat, elegant and fun for holidays or any special meal.

ginger glazed lamb lollipops2

Ingredients

½ lb ground lamb

½  lb ground beef

2 Tbsp pine nuts

2 Tbsp currents

1/2 medium onion, grated and liquid removed (about 1/3 cup)

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp chopped mint leaves

¼ tsp chili flakes

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper

12 cinnamon sticks

For the glaze:

Canola oil

1 small shallot, minced (about 1/3 cup)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp ginger, minced

¼ cup silan (date honey)

¼ cup water

Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl combine the lamb, beef, pine nuts, currants, grated onion, minced garlic, mint, chili flakes, cinnamon, cumin, lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of salt.

Mix with your hands gently, but don’t over mix. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Create 12 small balls from meat mixture and stick a cinnamon stick in each one, press the meat on the stick to create a shape of a pear. Place in a pan and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small frying pan over medium-high heat, sauté the shallots in oil until they get transparent (about 2 minutes). Add the minced garlic and ginger and cook until you smell the aroma (about 30-45 seconds). Be careful not to burn the ingredients. If they start browning, reduce the heat.  Immediately add the silan and cook for about 60 seconds. You will see how the thick date honey is starting to become loose. Once it starts thickening again, add the water and cook until thickens again (another 2-4 minutes), season with a dash of salt and pepper.

Remove the meat from the oven. Baste the silan glaze over the meat and return to oven for another 5 minutes. Serve while still hot.

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