Meatballs in Lapsang Souchong Cream Sauce
I’ve written about cooking with lapsang souchong here before, but we decided to try something new for the Chamber of Commerce party at the bookstore/tea bar last month (the same one where we served the Hipster Hummus and the Orange Spice Carrot Cake Muffins).
If you’re not familiar with lapsang souchong tea, it’s a Chinese black tea that’s dried in bamboo baskets over a fire made with wet pine wood. The smoke from the fire dries and cures the tea, giving it a wonderful campfire smell. I think it’s a great wake-up tea in the morning, and it adds a great flavor to meats and fish. The lapsang souchong I used in this recipe is Cascade Smokehouse, from our tea bar.
The meatballs for this recipe aren’t really as important as the sauce, because the flavors in the sauce mask the meatballs themselves. Any old meatball recipe will do. Here’s how to do the rest:
- 1/4 cup butter (you can use margarine if you’d like)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 ounce lapsang souchong loose-leaf tea
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- Grind up the tea leaves, using a mortar & pestle or small food processor. They don’t need to be completely powdered, just broken into small pieces.
- Heat the chicken broth to boiling and add the tea leaves. Set aside for five minutes.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter and slowly stir in the flour.
- Add the salt and broth (do not filter out the tea leaves).
- Stir over medium heat until it thickens.
- Remove from stove, and stir in the sour cream.
- Put the meatballs in a crock pot over low heat, and pour the sauce over it.
We left the meatballs and sauce in the crock pot for several hours on low heat before serving them. They went over very well!