lamb and feta morsels - let the party begin!

lamb and feta morsels
What is it about party food on a stick that we like so much? I suspect that like me, there are many British people of a certain age (cough, cough) who remember the joys of cheese and pineapple hedgehogs, along with cheese footballs and Twiglets . . . we see a cocktail stick and it speaks to us. "Eat me" it says, not in a trippy Alice in Wonderland kind of a way, but in the way that entices; "this will be fun. It will make you happy. Let's party!

I can remember the very first time I ate satay in Malaysia - chicken on a stick served with a sticky peanut sauce. I was seven years old and this food delighted me. It was fun, novel to my English eyes and tasted so very good too.

lamb and feta morsels with tzatziki
Having said that there are some times when I have a slight niggling doubt, which lurks at the back of my mind when I see food on a stick. I blame Terry Pratchett's Discworld character, Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler's culinary creations, which hid a multitude of sins, including "bits of the animal that the animal didn't know it had" - particularly rat-onna-stick and sausage-inna-bun!

But seriously, these meatball morsels disguise nothing. I love them for their big flavours. They are fragrant and very tasty - the perfect party food. Cocktails sticks are optional!

Makes about 14 small meatballs
Skill level: Easy

olive oil
400g minced lamb
100g feta cheese, crumbled
1 x red onion, very finely chopped or grated
1 tbsp harissa
1 tsp cumin
a small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
tzatziki (yoghurt and cucumber sauce), to serve

  1. Put the lamb mince in a bowl with the crumbled feta, red onion, harissa, cumin and chopped parsley. Add a little seasoning. Mash well with a fork then bring together to form small balls, about the size of a walnut (each weighing about 25g to 30g).
  2. Place the meatballs on a tray and leave in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up before frying.
  3. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan. Add the meatballs (without crowding the pan, otherwise it is harder to turn them. You may have to do this in batches). Fry for about 2 minutes on each side to brown then transfer to the oven.
  4. Transfer to a baking tray.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 6.
  6. Bake the meatballs for about 10 minutes to cook right through.
  7. Serve with tzatziki on the side.

  • Lovely stuffed into pitta bread with salad and hummous.
  • Great with a simple tomato sauce.
  • These meatballs freeze very well and can be cooked from frozen, although they will need baking for a little longer.
  • Scale them up for great tasting burgers.


Fiona Maclean said...

I make something like this, but I've never used feta! I think it would be a great addition!

Janice said...

how delicious that looks. I love party food too.