Jumbo Meatball Surprise


As the end of summer quickly approaches, grilling fanatics around the world (us included) are trying to squeeze in one last summer barbecue blowout. And that’s not to say we’re not opposed to barbecuing in the winter a la Roger Mooking, but nothing beats a good old-fashioned summer barbecue.

So to honor the summer, allow us to introduce Chef Mooking’s latest creation…the Meatball Surprise. Daunting? Nah, just an innovative creation that’s literally stuffed with flavor. That’s right, the surprise is the whole tomato you’ll find that’s wrapped in perfectly seasoned ground lamb, which also makes this a surprisingly lean meal!

Serving up this unique dish with a tangy, citrus Greek yogurt dipping sauce is the icing on the cake meatball. Add a light side dish and a fun cocktail to the menu and you have yourself the perfect backyard feast.


Citrus Greek Yogurt

1 C plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp lemon zest

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper


Meatball Surprise

1.5 lbs ground lamb

½ tsp ground all spice

1 tsp ground garlic

¼ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

4 whole Tomato of Yore/beefsteak tomatoes

1/8 tsp kosher salt



In a large mixing bowl, gently combine lamb, all spice, garlic, cloves, cinnamon and pepper. Refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat barbecue to 400F on one side only.

Separate ground lamb mixture into four equal balls. Flatten balls into discs about 6” in diameter. Season both sides with salt. Remove green top from tomato and place in center of discs. Gently fold ground lamb around tomato and seal the ends. Repeat with all meatballs.

Place all meatballs over direct heat until they get grill marks, then transfer to the other side of the grill for indirect cooking. Cover the barbecue, reduce heat to medium, and allow meatballs to cook all the way through, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and serve hot with citrus Greek yogurt.

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