Abkhazura is a spicy meatball that is recommended to be served with a plum sauce called, Tkemali Sauce. I don’t think it is from the Abkhazia region. However the ingredients are similar to what is commonly found in their dishes and it sounded good, so why not.
The first step is to grind the pork butt, beef chuck, onion, and garlic together. With my friends kitchen aid and meat grinder I had my first experience with a meat grinder. It was a fun chore and didn’t seem to take too much time. The meat was looking yummy!
I opted to only do a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne as I can’t tolerate spicy foods. I would probably recommend going up to the full amount and maybe more as the result was not spicy, which defeats the definition of this dish.
I could not find Caul Fat at the store, so used lard instead. The caul fat was to be soaked in lemon, so I thought the lemon may add some flavor, so we mixed the lard with lemon and tried to cover the meat. First lesson is lemon and lard don’t really mix. The meatballs were extremely soft and so trying to cover them in lard was a messy process. We stopped after a few and tried to cook it to see if it mattered; it didn’t, so we just fried the meatballs in lard.
To start the plum sauce, I cut the plums in half and then cooked them down in water. I then read the next step which was to run the plums through a food mill. I didn’t know what a food mill did and so of course didn’t have one. It was to remove the skins. After rendering the plums I removed a few skins that I could. Then I just dumped it all in a food processor to make the sauce smooth. I guess I may need to get a food mill, sigh.
The sauce was surprisingly spicy with a hint of sweet. It went perfectly with the meatballs and the sauce made up for the lack of spice in the meatball batch. I am totally impressed with the food and unique flavor profiles. Can’t wait to try more!
Original recipe can be found here
- 1 pound pork butt
- 3/4 pound beef chuck
- 1 small onion, peeled
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek
- 1/2 teaspoon dried summer savory
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons ground barberry or sumac
- 1 pound lard
- Grind together the pork, beef, onion, and garlic.
- Grind the spices in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Melt lard in a frying pan. Fry meatballs in lard, so they have a nice brown sear. Transfer to a broiler pan and finish cooking in the oven, about 10 minutes.
Original recipe can be found here
- 1 1/2 pounds plums (not too sweet or ripe)
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 teaspoon whole coriander seed
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh mint
- 1/3 cup finely minced cilantro
- Cut the plums in half and remove the pits (If you do not have a food mill peel the plums before cooking). Place in a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until soft.
- In a mortar with a pestle, pound together the coriander seed, fennel seed, garlic, cayenne, and salt to make a fine paste.
- When the plums are soft, put them through a food mill and return to pan. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat, stirring for 3 minutes.
- Stir in the ground spices and continue cooking until the mixture thickens slightly, another 5 minutes or so.
- Stir in the minced mint and cilantro and remove from the heat. Pour into a jar while still hot; cool to room temperature and keep in the refrigerator, or seal the jar for longer storage.