Lamb Meatballs with Orange and Mint

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeƱo, seeded and minced
1 large shallot, minced
1 pound ground lamb
4 ounces salt pork or bacon, ground or finely minced
Zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons chopped mint
Freshly ground black pepper
sea salt

Greek yogurt for dipping (or combine with minced cucumber, garlic, and dried dill for tzaziki sauce
Pita bread cut into triangles and warmed or toasted

In a small pan, heat half the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallot, jalapeno, and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for just one minute to soften. Allow to cool.

In the meantime, combine lamb, pork, orange zest, mint, 4-5 turns of ground black pepper, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix well with hands to thoroughly combine. (The saltiness of the salt pork can vary, so begin with this amount of salt and form a small patty to cook for testing purposes. Adjust salt as needed.)

Form mixture into small meatballs and transfer to a sheet pan. Heat remaining oil over medium heat in a large (12-inch), heavy skillet, such as cast iron, and brown meatballs in batches until cooked through and golden, 8-10 minutes.

Serve with Greek yogurt or tzaziki and warm pita.

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