Moroccan lamb meatballs

This is a dish that I have recreated from a memory – a not inconsiderable feat given I was young and imbibing in local customs like taking a copious amount of hashish on that trip, oh, so many years ago.

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes

You’ll need a non-stick frying pan.

Ingredients - serves four

  • 500g ground lamb
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 dsp whole coriander seeds
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Sauce

  • Six grated tomatoes
  • A little olive oil
  • One clove of finely chopped garlic
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Before you get back to the campsite, get your butcher to put the lamb through the mincer a couple of times as you want a very fine mince for this recipe.

Get cooking

Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan for a couple of minutes. Crush to a powder in a pestle and mortar. Keep them on the move and don’t burn them! 

Place the minced lamb in a bowl together with a pinch of salt, the paprika, the crushed spices and a grind of black pepper.

Using your fingertips, work the spice through the meat, mixing thoroughly. Take a pinch of the meat and form meatballs the size of large marbles. Set aside on a plate (500g of mince will make about 28 meatballs – enough for four healthy appetites).

Place the meatballs in a non-stick frying pan and bring to heat (you won’t need any oil in the pan as the fat will begin to come out of the meat). Keep moving the meatballs around in the pan to ensure they brown on all sides. 

While the meatballs are cooking you can prepare this really easy sauce. Place a drop of olive oil in a pan and add the chopped garlic. Once the garlic starts to cook, halve the tomatoes and grate them, cut side, into the pan. Discard the skin, which will remain in your hand.

Stir and season to taste as the grated tomatoes begin to thicken to a sauce. By the time the meatballs are cooked, the sauce will have thickened. Once off the heat, add a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley and spoon over the meatballs.

This dish works well with a tabouleh salad.