Meatballs in a Turkish Tomato and Pomegranate Sauce


Although Aidells Caramelized Onion Meatballs are not flavored with Turkish spices, when they are cooked in the tomato-pomegranate sauce they take on the taste of Turkish cooking. You could also skewer the meatballs and grill them (see cook's notes) and then serve the tomato-pomegranate sauce on the side.

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1 pinch cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (also called pomegranate syrup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1/2 cup chopped green onions
salt and freshly ground black pepper
hot sauce (such as Tabasco, optional)
freshly cooked rice or bulgur wheat
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, juices reserved, tomatoes chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, or 2 teaspoons dried
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice


  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and fry until lightly browned, turning occasionally about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a plate.

  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic to the skillet. Stir and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, mint, lemon juice, cumin, allspice, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the pomegranate molasses and add back the meatballs. Adjust the heat so the mixture simmers, cover the pan and simmer until the sauce thickens and develops a rich flavor, adding a little water if the sauce is dry, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and green onions. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a little Tabasco if you like. Serve 3 or 4 meatballs per serving over bulgur or rice.

  3. COOK NOTES: To make pita filled sandwiches, gently rewarm leftover meatballs in the sauce. While heating, wrap pita in foil and warm in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes. Cut each pita in half and open up the pocket placing meatballs in each half. Spoon over some sauce and garnish with a dollop of Greek yogurt and sprinklings of diced cucumber, finely chopped sweet onion and some chopped fresh dill, parsley, int or green onions. To grill these meatballs, skewer meatballs on flat edged skewers or skewer several at a time with 2 bamboo skewers (to prevent meatballs from slipping when turning over.) Grill over medium charcoal or gas heat until nicely browned on all sides, turning frequently, about 10 minutes total. Serve with the sauce and all the side dishes mentioned in the headnotes.