Mini Koftas and Pomegranate Wine Sauce

The recipe for this delicious pomegranate wine sauce was authored by The View From Great Island, and the koftas were adapted from the same post.

These mini koftas are delicious with basmati rice. I happen to love this sauce mixed in with buttery rice. This time, I made them with Sweet Potatoes with Pomegranate Wine Sauce, because you really can't have enough of a good thing.

The first time I made this red wine sauce, I was tasting it all along, so I knew it was good. But I ended up letting it boil too long, and completely burned it. Throwing away $10 worth of pomegranate juice plus 2  cups of red wine was not awesome. So when it gets close to 30 - 35 minutes of boiling down, you really need to watch the sauce and make sure you remove it from heat after it thickens up, but before it burns. I also want to note that I had great success halving the quantity of the recipe. This is a great use for half empty bottles of wine that may be sitting in your refrigerator, so adjust the ratios of the other two ingredients to match the amount of wine you have left, and it should work just fine.

Mini Koftas

1 egg
1 small onion or half a large onion, finely diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Dash smoked paprika (up to 1/2 tsp, to taste)
Dash cayenne pepper (up to 1/4 tsp, to taste)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup panko or other breadcrumbs
2 tbsp olive oil

Mix together all the ingredients other than the olive oil. Adjust the amount of breadcrumbs slightly depending on how wet the mixture is. Mix with a spoon or use your hands to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.

Form oblong meatballs from the mixture and set aside the formed koftas.

Heat the olive oil on medium heat. Fry the koftas, browning each side, for about 2-3 minutes per side. Test that the koftas are cooked through, and then drain the finished koftas on paper towels.

Serve with the pomegranate wine sauce on the side or drizzled on top.

Serves 2 - 4

Pomegranate Wine Sauce

2 cups red wine
2 cups pomegranate juice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Whisk all ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir periodically to ensure that the bottom doesn't scorch. Continue to boil uncovered on medium high heat until the sauce reduces to about 1/2 a cup and thickens. You will need to boil it for 35 - 45 minutes.

After about 30 minutes, pay close attention to the sauce to ensure you remove it from heat before it burns. I test the thickness by dipping a spoon into the sauce, and waiting until it the sauce no longer runs off the spoon when you remove it.

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