Braised Meatballs with Artichokes and Fennel
['1 pound (455 g) ground goat', '1 large egg white', '3 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs', '2 medium shallots, minced', '1 teaspoon dried oregano', '1 teaspoon dried dill', '1 teaspoon salt, halved and used in two places in the recipe', '1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, halved, same as with the salt', '1/2 cup (225 g) whole wheat flour', '2 tablespoons olive oil', '1 large yellow onion, chopped', '1 large fennel bulb, any stems and fronds removed, the tough root end sliced off and discarded, then the bulb itself chopped', '1 large tomato, chopped', '1 pound (455 g) fresh baby artichokes, trimmed; or one 12-ounce (one 340-g) package whole or quartered frozen baby artichokes (no need to thaw)', '1 1/3 cups (360 ml) reduced-sodium vegetable broth', '1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tomato paste', '2 teaspoons lemon juice', '1 teaspoon ground cinnamon']
1. Mix the ground meat, egg white, bread crumbs, shallots, oregano, dill, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper in a medium bowl until uniform—that is, until the spices are spread evenly throughout; the bread crumbs, too; and the egg white is no longer visible as a scummy film. Form this mixture into 12 golf balls.
2. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Meanwhile, spread the flour on a plate. Swirl the oil into the pot, then roll half the balls in the flour. Put them in the pot and brown on all sides. (OK, geometry teachers, balls don't have sides. But you know what I mean.) About 7 minutes will do it. Transfer them to a plate and repeat with the remaining balls.
3. Dump the onion, fennel, tomato, and artichokes into the pot. Stir over the heat until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.
4. Pour in the broth; stir in the tomato paste, lemon juice, cinnamon, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. As the mixture begins to simmer, make sure you scrape up any browned bits in the pot. Then tuck the meatballs into the simmering sauce and pour any juices on their plate over everything. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly for 1 hour.
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