Every time I make a Rachel Ray recipe I feel like I'm racing the clock. How this woman expects anyone to make her dishes in 30 minutes is beyond me. Unless you're an iron chef, I would tack on at least an extra 10 minutes. If you have a toddler screaming for Elmo to be restarted and a newborn who keeps needing to have their paci replaced, add 20. Not to mention her recipes seem to dirty more dishes than a Thanksgiving meal. I guess since she's in the cookware market this is probably a strategic move. Nonetheless, her flavor combos are inventive and usually pretty gosh darn good.
If it hadn't been for the mouthwatering picture of this dish in her cookbook I don't think I ever would have given it the time of day. Honey, lamb, tomato sauce - what?! But the picture didn't lie, it was unique and delicious. Usually meatballs are fairly time consuming, but these were very quick with few ingredients and since they are baked there is no need to stand over the stove. The polenta on its own was very tasty, I actually think next time I will make a double batch of it since that seemed to be everyone's favorite part. So Rachel Ray, you might have dirtied my kitchen and left me scrambling to get dinner on the table to a hungry family with your unrealistic time expectations, but I think I'll still keep you around. :)
Lamb Meatballs with Honey-Rosemary Polenta and Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Rachel Ray's Big Orange Book
4 slices whole wheat bread, crust removed, crumbled
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium red onion, diced
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 28-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
1 cup milk
1 cup polenta
1 T butter, cut up
1 T rosemary, chopped
2 T honey
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine bread and 1/3 cup stock in bowl to soften.
- Add lamb, salt and pepper, garlic and egg and combine with hands.
- Shape into 8 meatballs and place on foil lined baking sheet.
- Drizzle with EVOO and roll to coat.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 T EVOO in a medium sauce pot over medium heat.
- Add onion, salt and pepper and cook until softened, 8-10 minutes.
- Add vinegar and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in 2/3 cup stock and tomatoes, bring to a boil.
- Adjust seasoning, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium pot bring 2 cups stock and milk to boil.
- Whisk in polenta and lower heat to low, cook for 2-3 minutes until polenta becomes thickened. Stir frequently.
- Stir in butter, rosemary, honey and salt and pepper to taste. Add more milk or water if needed.
- Spoon polenta onto plates, top with meatballs and sauce.