MEDITERRANEAN MEATBALLS A LAMB MEATBALL RECIPE WITH TUNISIAN SPICES

 MEDITERRANEAN MEATBALLS: A LAMB MEATBALL RECIPE WITH TUNISIAN SPICES

  What do you think about me making Mediterranean meatballs for dinner?” I asked my partner AJ. He looked at me as if I had just grown a second head and with wide eyes replied back “I’d think that would be awesome.” His expression clearly showing that I didn’t even need to ask that question. Meatballs are pretty much good anytime here in this household and AJ apparently was incredulous that I couldn’t remember that. I had discovered this lamb meatball recipe using Tunisian spices from the cookbook One Good Dish by David Tanis and it’s quickly become a staple in our household.

Ingredients :

Meatballs :

  1. 2 cups fresh cubed crusty whole wheat bread (or whatever you have on hand)
  2. 1 cup milk (whole or whatever you have on hand)
  3. 1 lb ground lamb (or ground beef if you aren’t a fan of lamb)
  4. 1/2 lb ground beef
  5. 1 large egg
  6. 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
  7. 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  8. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  9. 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  11. 1 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  12. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  13. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  14. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  15. 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  16. 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  17. 4 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, divided
  18. 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided
  19. 4 tablespoons chopped scallions (green onions), divided
  20. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  21. 1/4 cup olive oil

Sauce :

  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 2 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
  3. 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
  4. 6 oz tomato paste
  5. 2 1-inch cinnamon sticks
  6. pinch of saffron, crumbled in your fingers
  7. 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
  8. salt and pepper to taste

Couscous :

  1. 2 cups Israel couscous
  2. 1/2 cup golden raisins
  3. 2 tablespoon olive oil
  4. salt and pepper to taste

MEDITERRANEAN MEATBALLS: A LAMB MEATBALL RECIPE WITH TUNISIAN SPICES
MEDITERRANEAN MEATBALLS: A LAMB MEATBALL RECIPE WITH TUNISIAN SPICES


Directions :

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Place the cubed bread onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the bread has dried out but not browned. While the bread is toasting make the sauce.

2. Place the oil in a large wide skillet or pot and heat until shimmering. Reduce heat to medium and add the onions and cook until the onions start to soften, about 5 minutes. Once they start to soften, add the garlic, tomato paste, cinnamon sticks and saffron. Stir and cook for about a minute, then season generously with salt and pepper. Add the broth, stir to incorporate, cook on medium high heat until boiling. The sauce will look thin. Lower heat to a simmer and then cover while you make the meatballs, stirring occasionally.

3. Once the bread is toasted, remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Move bread to a large bowl and drizzle milk over bread, tossing and mixing until the milk is absorbed. Add both meats, egg, garlic, salt and pepper and spices to bread. Add 3 tablespoons of the parsley, cilantro and scallions, reserving the 1 tablespoon each for garnish at tend. Using your hands mix and massage the mixture until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Roll the mixture into golf ball size meatballs then toss half the balls in the flour to coat. In a large pan, add the oil and heat until shimmering then pan fry half the meatballs, turning until they are brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. They don’t need to be completely cooked through, just brown. Move the browned meatballs to the simmering sauce, and repeat with the remaining meat, first forming the balls, then coating in flour and frying, then moving to the sauce. Increase the heat to medium and simmer the balls for 20-25 minutes or until the meatballs are tender and cooked through. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt, pepper and cayenne for heat if you want.

4. While the meatballs are simmering, make the couscous as directed by the package. While the couscous and meatballs are cooking, pour boiling water over the raisins and let soak to plump up. Once the cous cous is done, drizzle the olive oil over it and then drain the raisins and add them as well. Stir together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Once the meatballs are done, spoon the couscous into bowls and cover with meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle parsley, cilantro and scallions over the top and serve immediately.

Other recipes Side Dishes : Here 

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