Concannon's Turkish Meatballs with Smoky Eggplant Puree

On a meatball kick lately? Turkish meatballs are just so versatile that you can combine any number of spices and herbs and come up with a different flavor profile every time! This time, try it with this recipe that calls for smoky eggplant purée.

Servings: 4-6 people

Cook Time: 1.5 hours

Pair With: Concannon Vineyard 2009 Conservancy Petite Sirah

Source: Recipe by Joyce Goldstein, pairing by Concannon Vineyard


1 1/2 pounds ground beef, not too lean
1/2 cup grated yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne, or ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley plus a bit more for garnish
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
olive oil
3 cups plain tomato sauce, (canned is just fine) or Parmalat strained tomatoes
1 cup beef broth


In a mixing bowl, combine the meatball ingredients with your hands. Fry a sample meatball and taste it to make sure the seasoning is balanced. Then, form all of the meat mixture into balls that are the size of a walnut. You will have about 34 to 36 meatballs.

Dip meatballs in flour. Film a large sauté pan with olive oil over high heat. Brown the meatballs, in batches, turning to brown evenly, and set them aside on a plate in or a bowl. (Please don't overcook them. Leave them a bit rare as they are going to simmer in the tomato sauce. You want them to be moist, not dry. )

In another large sauté pan, warm the tomato sauce and thin with beef broth. When ready to serve, add meatballs to tomato sauce and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes to warm the meatballs through.

Chef's Notes:

This is easy for the home cook as many parts of the dish can be prepared ahead of time: the meatballs, the tomato sauce and the eggplant puree. The final béchamel enrichment to the eggplant should be added just before you go to the table. Some cooks add some sautéed chopped onion or green onions to the tomato sauce. Others add a touch of hot pepper, either a fresh hot green pepper like a poblano or hot pepper flakes, but the heat would intensify the alcohol in the wine so I’d avoid that addition. For best balance with the wine, be sure to take a good mouthful of eggplant along with each bite of meatball. The eggplant is the key ingredient in this food and wine pairing.

Recipe Courtesy Of

Concannon Vineyard

Concannon Vineyard is located in Livermore, CA.