Creamy Greek avgolemono sauce or egg yolk and lemon sauce: the perfect companion for these silky lamb meatballs! Are you also in for a delicious mediterranean treat? Enjoy your meal…
Om nom nom!
I just can’t believe how flavorful this avgolemono sauce is!
Have you heard of it before then?
Avgolemono means egg and lemon in Greek. And that should tell you enough already about what goes into this delicious creamy sauce because lemon and eggs are exactly what’s in this gooey light brown sauce that covers those homemade juicy lamb meatballs.
Egg yolks to be more specific.
Plain and simple.
Does it sound kind of strange to you?
Adding egg yolks to a sauce is quite a basic cooking technique in Europe. It helps to make the sauce creamy and binds all of the other ingredients together.
End result: a glossy rich sauce.
The name for this technique is ‘liaison’.
I also use it in my chicken vol au vent stew and Belgian waterzooi as well. Not only adding egg yolks is considered a ‘liaison’. It can also be adding any type of starch to a small amount of cooking liquid and adding it back to the pan with the intention of thickening a sauce or soup.
Avgolemono Sauce Lamb Meatballs
Not only the yolks might seem like a funny addition, even the lemon juice is not a classic ingredient. However it really works here. What a flavor explosion that lemon gives to this dish!
I can hear you think: eggs and lemon, that doesn’t work?
Are you scared that the lemon sauce might start to curdle? Then make sure that the egg yolks are at room temperature. Also let the sauce cool down before you add the eggs and lemon. If the sauce base is too hot, the eggs will curdle for sure
I also made another Greek recipe before using the same technique and flavors: my avgolemono chicken soup!
Also worth checking out!
- 12,5 oz lamb mince (350 g)
- 1 large shallot finely chopped
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 medium garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs or panko
- 1 cup chicken stock (240 ml)
- ½ cup dry white wine (120 ml)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 bay leaves
- ⅓ tsp ground cinnamon
- olive oil
Add some olive oil, chopped shallot, 1 chopped garlic clove and bay leaves to a medium saucepan. Season with salt and pepper.
Put this over medium heat. Fry the shallot until golden. Then remove the bay leaves and let the shallot cool.
Pour the lamb mince and 1 egg yolk in a mixing bowl. Also add the cooled shallot.
Knead the lamb. Then add the (panko) breadcrumbs, cinnamon and pepper and salt.
- Knead again. Taste the mince and add extra pepper or salt. Roll the mince into even meatballs. Mine were 1 ½ oz (45 g). In the end I had 10 of them. Pour the flour in a deep plate and coat the meatballs with it.
Then pour the remaining olive oil in a large non-stick pan and place it over medium-high heat until hot. Then add the meatballs.
Cook the meatballs for 15 minutes until cooked through and browned.
Then transfer them to a clean plate and cover with tinfoil to keep them warm. Add the chopped onion, remaining chopped garlic and some olive oil to the pan. Don't wipe the pan clean
- Gently fry the onion and garlic until almost soft. Then add the wine and chicken stock.
Stir and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer gently for about 8 minutes until it has reduced by half. Then take the pan off the heat and let it cool down for 10 minutes. Combine the 2 remaining egg yolks and lemon juice.
Add 3 tablespoons of the reduced sauce to the yolk and lemon juice. Then gradually add this mixture back to pan with the remaining sauce.
Stir well until the sauce starts to thicken a little. Then season it with pepper and salt. Add the meatballs back to the pan.
Take the pan off the heat, cover and let the meatballs warm through in the sauce for another 5 minutes. Serve hot.