Lamb Meatballs Moroccan Style Tagine
Inspired by a great magazine – Olive, April 2006
Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Total Cooking time: 30 minutes or so
1 clove garlic
1 tsp sea salt
½ cup fresh cilantro/coriander with stalks (just cut off the roots), chopped
½ small red onion, cut in 4
1 tsp ground cumin
2 pinches saffron threads
Zest of 1 lemon
Meatballs & Sauce:
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 lb/500 g minced lamb (I used chicken this time because my houseguests don’t eat lamb – pity for them, it’s so good)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 28 oz/ 796 ml tin tomatoes, chopped with their juices
1. Make the paste by throwing all the spice paste ingredients into a food processor and pulsing until a paste is formed. (Some folks would use a mortar & pestle, but you really need a big one like Jamie or Nigella has and mine is quite small and good for bashing spices. Oh well, something else to buy.)
2. In a large bowl, combine the chopped onion, ground coriander, parsley and lamb (or chicken). Form into 12 meatballs.
3. In a Dutch oven or large deep pan, heat the olive oil. Of course the magazine uses a tagine (Moroccan clay cooker) but anything with a large surface will do fine. The key is to have a tight fitting cover or seal it with foil.
4. Brown the meatballs all over at medium high heat so they are quite crispy and dark on the outside and scoop them out and set aside. Add the spice paste to the pan/pot and sauté them for a few minutes until the wonderful aroma has you moaning.
5. Put the meatballs and tomatoes back in the pan, cover tightly and simmer for 30 minutes or so.
6. Sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and serve over couscous, quinoa or buckwheat (kasha).
As you can see from the photo I served it with quinoa and sauteed baby spinach.
Related links: Food and Drink recipes