Spanish Balles (Lamb Meatballs)

To make Spanish balles.
Take a peece of a leg of Mutton, and pare away the skin from the flesh, chop the flesh verie small: then take marrow of beefe, and cut it as big as a hazell nut, & take as much of marrow in quantity as ye haue of flesh, and put both in a faire platter, and some salt, and eight yolks of Egs, and stirre them wel together: then take a litle earthern pot, and put in it a pint, and a halfe of beefe broth that is not salt, or els Mutton broth and make it seeth: then make balles of your stuffe, and put them in boyling broth one after another, and let them stew softly the space of two houres. Then lay them on sops three or foure in a dish, and of the vppermost of the broth vpon the sops, and make your balles as big as tennis balles.
(Good Huswife’s Handmaide for the Kitchin, 1597.)

To make Farts of Portingale.
Take a piece of a leg of Mutton, and pare away the skin from the flesh, and chop the flesh finely. Then take beef marrow, and cut it as big as a hazelnut, and take as much marrow as you have mutton flesh, and put both in a platter, and some salt, and eight egg yolks, and stir them together well. Then take a little earthen pot, and it in it a pint and a half of unsalted beef broth, and put them in boiling broth one after another, and let them stew softly for two hours. Then lay them on sops three or four in a dish, and the uppermost of the broth upon the sops, and make your balls as big as tennis balls.

Ingredients

1kg lamb leg(or mutton if you can find it) 1.5 L beef stock
1kg beef bone marrow Salt to taste
8 egg yolks 6 slices of toast (optional)

Method

  1. Mince the lamb and bone marrow together.
  2. Mix the lamb and bone marrow with the eggs and salt, and make sure everything is well combined.
  3. Form the lamb mixture into balls (if catering for large numbers, ignore the “size of tennis balls” instruction).
  4. Bring the beef stock to the boil, then cook the lamb balls through. You will know they are close to done when the lamb balls rise to the surface of the stock.
  5. If desired, serve with toast, with cooking broth poured over.
  6. Serve warm.

Notes

  • This is one of a number of recipes for poached lamb meatballs described as Spanish or Portuguese (see Fartes of Portingale).
  • Bone marrow is obtained from the inside of leg bones of cows, and in my opinion is THE BEST part of the cow (I really love beef). Many butchers sell these bones cheaply for pets (lucky pets!); ask if they will saw the bones up for you, as they are quite a pain to split without power tools.

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