My mom was known to be the best Egg-Lemon soup / sauce maker in the family and the whole neighborhood. I was about 12 years old on wards and always watched her when she cooked this soup/sauce. So I can tell you this recipe is hers. Back in the old days we had no stand-up mixer or hand held mixers like we do now. She used whisk those eggs by hand using a fork while adding the lemon juice carefully to avoid curdling of the eggs.
Greek cuisine has many dishes made with an egg-lemon mixture. In fact any beef, poultry, fish, lamb which is boiled can be made into an egg-lemon dish. All you have to do is add a 500 ml of the liquid in which the beef or chicken is boiling in to the egg-lemon mixture and there you are. For details please read on....
For the porcupines we shall need:
Make 33 balls.
- 1 kg prime ground beef.
- ½ cup uncooked rice.
- 1 medium onion finely diced.
- 1 bunch fresh dill finely chopped. (Stems cut off, chopped finely as well and set aside for later).
- ¼ cup olive oil.
- ¼ cup butter.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 2 big whole eggs beaten to a froth.
- Juice of 3 big lemons to taste. We like the taste of lemon in soup.
- Enough water to cover the porcupines by as much to have lots of soup.
- 1 cup of all purpose flour.
- Mix ground beef, dill, onion, rice, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Work by hand to mix very well until all ingredients are well incorporated. Taste the mixture for approval. In my opinion the raw ground beef mixture should have a strong taste of dill and must be well seasoned.
- Once well mixed, get yourself a cookie sheet, add the flour, and start making the meatballs and roll into the flour to give them a good coating. Flour all 33 meatballs.
- In the meantime you would want to use a 32 cm wide shallow pot with about two fingers worth of water boiling with the butter. You need to have all the meatballs in one layer.
- Start adding the meatballs to the boiling water. When all the balls are in, check water level and add a couple more cups of boiling water so as to end up with lots of soup.
- When water starts boiling, add the chopped dill stems to the soup. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes (time for the rice to cook).
For the egg-lemon soup/sauce.
- Ladle 500 ml out of the boiling liquid in a Pyrex jug.
- Let cool.
- Beat the eggs into a froth.
- Add lemon juice slowly and carefully while beating the eggs.
- Once the broth is cool start adding it to the egg-lemon mixture.
Note: Do not add the broth to the egg-lemon while it is hot because it may cause the egg-lemon to curdle.
- Once all the broth has been mixed with the egg-lemon, pour all over the porcupines and mix gently, not to breat the meatballs, to incorporate. Check for soup thickness and add some corn starch dissolved in water to thicken if you wish.
- Stir. When the soup thickness to your liking, turn off the fire or have it on a very low simmer while stirring to keep warm. Once the fire is off do not cover.
Note: Once the food is ready, do not cover otherwise the soup may curdle.
Serve in soup dishes or bowl making sure you sprinkle some freshly ground pepper.
The beauty of this dish is that the whole house smells of dill which is something that I adore. Very Greeky.