Vietnamese Lamb Meatball Sandwiches
Makes 6 large sandwiches
There are many variations on these sandwiches. You can substitute ground beef, pork, or veal for the lamb if you are not a lamb fan.
For the lamb meatballs:
2 pounds ground lamb
4 shallots, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup cilantro, minced
1 1/2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
2 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons salt
For the pickled carrots:
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/8-inch match sticks
For the sandwiches:
2 baguettes, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons harissa
1/2 lime, juiced
1 bunch cilantro, woody bottoms of the stems removed
1.Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs. Form into 1-inch balls (you should get 48 or so), and arrange them about 1 inch apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake in the oven until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Set aside.
3. In the meantime, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl until dissolved. Add the carrots and toss until combined. Set aside to pickle for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, harissa, and lime juice. Season with a sprinkle of salt.
5. Toast the bread on a cookie sheet under the broiler for a few minutes until crusty but not browned. Slather the top half of bread with the mayonnaise. Arrange the lamb on the bottom half of the bread. Top with the carrots, making sure to leave behind any excess liquid so that sandwich doesn’t get soggy, and a handful of cilantro leaves. Press down the top half of the bread and cut into 3 sandwiches. Repeat with the second baguette.