Many Greek dishes, especially soups and stews, are made with a sauce based on two ingredients, lemon and eggs. It is called avgolémono, and it provides the dish with a light texture and a pleasant zesty flavor.
One of the most popular wintry dishes made with avgolémono, is a meatball soup called youvarlákia. Hard to pronounce but easy to cook, this dish is a favorite staple of our cuisine, a wonderful hearty soup that we enjoy mostly during winter.
Meatballs in lemony sauce
Yields 4 persons
½ kilo ground beef
1 large white onion finely chopped
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
½ rice uncooked
1 large egg
½ all purpose flour
3 cups homemade broth of your choice (beef, chicken, vegetable)
Freshly ground black pepper
For the avgolémono:
3 large eggs at room temperature
Juice of two large lemons
In a large bowl combine the ground beef with rice, onion, parsley, salt, pepper, egg. Mix all ingredients well using your hands.
Put the flour in another bowl. Roll the meat mixture into balls, then cover them with flour by rolling them in it and then shaking gently off any excess flour.
In a large pot heat some olive oil. Gently place the meatballs in the pot and sauté them until golden brown. Fill the pot with broth so that it goes about two cm above the meatballs. Cover and simmer for about 45 min.
When cooked, let it rest for 5 minutes. Start with the lem9on-egg sauce:
Take the three eggs and separate carefully whites from yolks
In a large bowl beat firmly the egg whites until frothy (it will take a few minutes)
While still beating add the yolks one by one
Add the lemon juice. Stop beating after a minute.
Add slowly –very slowly!- to the eggs broth from the soup. Use a fork to mix while pouring very gently the broth into the eggs. Try to use as much broth as you can. This will take a few minutes to conclude. It is very important to combine sauce and broth slowly and gently or else the eggs will curdle. When the sauce is creamy and much of the broth has been used, gently pour the egg sauce over the meatballs. Grab the pot from its handles and move it gently so as the sauce mixes well with the meatballs.