3 tablespoons fresh white bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 tablespoon minced onion
3 teaspoons drained bottled capers
6 ounces ground chuck
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup beef broth
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 bay leaf
a 2-by 1/2-inch strip of lemon zest, removed with a vegetable peeler, plus 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon mixed pickling spice
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
cooked egg noodles or rice as an accompaniment if desired

In a bowl stir together the bread crumbs, the egg, the onion, 2 teaspoons of the capers, minced, and salt and pepper to taste, add the beef, combine the mixture gently but thoroughly (do not over mix). Form the beef mixture into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.

In a flameproof casserole just large enough to hold the meatballs in one layer simmer 1/2 cup of the water, the broth, and lemon juice with the bay leaf, the zest strip, and the pickling spice, covered, for 10 minutes, add the meatballs, and cook them, covered, at a gentle simmer for 20 minutes. Transfer the meatballs with a slotted spoon to a plate and keep them warm. In a small bowl stir together the remaining 1 teaspoon water and the cornstarch, stir the cornstarch mixture into the broth mixture, and boil the sauce, stirring until it is thickened. Remove the casserole from the heat and stir in the sour cream, the remaining 1 teaspoon capers, the grated zest, and 2 teaspoons of the parsley, stirring until the sauce is combined. Return the meatballs to the casserole and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Discard the bay leaf and the zest strip and serve the meatballs and sauce, sprinkled with the remaining 1 teaspoon parsley, over the noodles.
Serves 2.


The Box