Light citrus flavors of Louisiana perk up lamb meatballs

By Jim Bailey

Yankee Chef logoCafe Brulot has been a favorite of Louisiana folks for many years, and no wonder.

The gentle citrus flavors topped with orange liqueur will perk up anyone’s after-dinner festivities.

I have taken this flavor and slathered it over lamb, making these the tastiest meatballs you will ever eat.


louisianastlelambmeatballs1 pound ground lamb
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder

Cafe Brulot sauce:

2 cups strong, brewed coffee
1/4 cup orange liqueur
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon each grated lemon and orange peel
Pinch each ground cloves and cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. Make meatballs by combining lamb, bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper and Chinese 5-spice powder. Make 15 meatballs, placing each in an appropriate sized baking pan, with at least an inch-high side. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until completely done inside.

Meanwhile, make the Cafe Brulot sauce. Add all ingredients, except cornstarch and water to a large saucepan. Bring to a light boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. Strain into a bowl and return to pot. Bring to a boil once again. In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and water until smooth, creating a slurry. When coffee mixture is boiling, add slurry, whisk very well and cook one additional minute, until it thickens. Remove from heat and cover until needed.

Remove meatballs from oven, drain and transfer to saucepan with sauce. Stir to combine and serve immediately.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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