You guys know that I have a thing for Mediterranean food. I mean ever since I came back from Israel, I have had an obsession with the flavor profiles of the food and tried to integrate that into every recipe I can possibly create. This one is no different. I took the traditional Meatball that is sometimes served as an appetizer, added some Cinnamon and allspices to it and created a festive winter glaze with pomegranate juice and balsamic vinegar. You will be going crazy for this easy holiday app, trust me!
Did you know that in Greece and the Mediterranean – they used the prized spice, Cinnamon not only for desserts like Baklava, but also in savory dishes to help add flavor to low quality meat. That is why in a lot of traditional Greek dishes, you will notice the cinnamon flavor.
I added cinnamon in the meatballs and the glaze, and it came out perfectly. You can definitely smell the holiday aromas as you make this easy holiday app and it’s delicious.
A couple of pro tips as you are making this easy holiday app:
Have you ever cooked a steak on the stove top and then put it in the oven? That is exactly what we are doing here, except we aren’t putting it in the oven, we are just slowly cooking it on the stove top after we sear all of the sides together.
So start out with the meatballs on high-heat rotating frequently so they don’t burn, then lower the meat to medium-low heat and cook until meatballs are done (8-10 minutes).
You will love how easy these meatballs are and surprisingly tasty. I just have one request. Don’t read this recipe and say nope… can’t do cinnamon in my meat. You will be shocked at how much you love it you will be coming back for more easy Holiday apps that have a Greek twist!Print
Mediterranean Meatballs with a Cinnamon-Pomegranate Glaze
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 12–16 meatballs 1x
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 1 lb ground beef or bison
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, cinnamon, oregano, thyme and nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon of salt, to taste
- ½ cup of breadcrumbs
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, and thyme
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped for garnish
- ½ cup Pomegranate arils, for garnish
To Make Glaze: (best case-make night before… but not imperative for a good glaze)
- Over medium-high heat cook 2 tablespoons of olive oil and finely diced shallots until fragrant.
- Add pomegranate juice, honey, and balsamic vinegar and boil together.
- Reduce to simmer and add the dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, and thyme.
- Lastly, add salt and pepper to taste (I find usually I don’t need either).
- Remove from heat and let sit until ready to serve. The longer you let it sit, the thicker it will get and the better it will be.
To Make Meatballs:
- Mix meat, garlic powder, cinnamon, oregano, thyme and nutmeg (could also sub for garlic powder, cinnamon and allspice).
- Add breadcrumbs and salt and form 12-16 meatballs. I like to make my meatballs a bit larger as they are appetizer meatballs.
- Over high-heat heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and put meatballs in skillet.
- Rotating frequently, fry all sides of meatballs and then reduce heat to medium-low.
- Over the next 8-10 minutes, rotate to avoid burning.
- Remove from heat and plate.
- Drizzle glaze on top and finish with parsley and pomegranate arils.