Greek Meatballs with Walnuts, Almonds and Prunes
20 pitted prunes
20 walnut halves
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup finely minced onion
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup almonds, ground
1/2 cup walnuts, ground
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup bread crumbs, toasted
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Stuff each prune with a walnut half and set aside.
Combine the ground beef, onion, parsley, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, bread crumbs, Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup of the olive oil, the egg, and the lemon juice in a large bowl. Using your hands, gently work the mixture to combine. Shape into 12 oval meatballs and arrange in a 13-x-9-inch baking dish. The meatballs can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated, covered, for several hours.
Brush the tops of the meatballs with the remaining oil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 400 degrees.
Arrange the stuffed prunes among the meatballs. Pour the broth, wine, and vinegar over the top. Bake for 20 minutes more. Turn the oven off, baste the meatballs with the pan juices, and let them rest in the oven for 5 minutes.
To serve, place 3 meatballs and 5 stuffed prunes on each plate. Sprinkle with pepper. Spoon the pan juices around. Serve with rice, orzo, or another grain so as not to waste the juices.