Braised Lamb Meatballs, Sumac Rice

Braised Lamb Meatballs, Sumac Rice

I am a big fan of meatballs and this dish of lightly spiced lamb meatballs braised with peas, preserved lemon and dried figs is great for a sharing supper.

Sumac rice is the best accompaniment to these meatballs and is equally good with other lamb dishes.

Braised Lamb Meatballs, Sumac Rice
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Meatballs: 750g Minced Lamb, 1 Small Onion (Finely Diced), Large Handful Parsley (Finely Chopped), 2 Garlic Cloves (Crushed), 3/4tsp Ground Allspice, 1/2tsp Ground Cinnamon, 75g Dried Cranberries, 1tsp Sea Salt, 1tsp Cracked Black Pepper, 1 Egg Yolk (Beaten), 200ml Vegetable Stock, 200g Freshly Shelled Peas, 2tsp Preserved Lemon Rind (Chopped), 3 Dried Figs (Finely Chopped), Large Handful Fresh Dill, Mint and Coriander (Chopped)

For the Rice: 300g Basmati Rice, 460ml Water, 25g Unsalted Butter, 2 Cinnamon Sticks, 3tsp Ground Sumac, 1tsp Sea Salt, 1tsp Cracked White Pepper

Method:

1) Combine the minced lamb with the onion, parsley, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, cranberries, sea salt, black pepper and egg yolk in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands until fully combined. Divide into equally sized meatballs.

2) Place a large, heavy based pot (a Le Creuset casserole is perfect) on the stove top over a medium heat. Cook the meatballs in a little neutral oil until well browned all over – around 10 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, peas, preserved lemon and figs to the pot, stirring well to combine with the meatballs. Bring the mixture to a simmer and braise the meatballs in the stock for around 10 minutes or until fully cooked and the peas are tender. When ready, add the fresh herbs and stir well to combine.

3) Meanwhile prepare the rice. Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the rice, cinnamon sticks and season with the salt and white pepper, stirring until fully coated in butter. Add the boiling water and turn the heat down low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, remove the lid and cover with a thin tea towel before replacing the lid. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Before serving, stir through the ground sumac with a fork to fluff the rice.

4) Serve the meatballs and braising mixture with the sumac rice and a good spoonful of natural yogurt.

Venison Meatballs, Tomato Sauce

Venison Meatballs, Tomato Sauce

Rich and succulent venison meatballs are great paired with this rich tomato and red wine sauce.

Best served with egg pasta or wild rice.

Venison Meatballs, Tomato Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Meatballs: 600g Minced Venison, 1 Medium Onion (Finely Chopped), 1 Slice White Bread (Gluten Free if Required), 3tbsp Milk, 2tsp Sea Salt, 2tsp Cracked Black Pepper, Large Handful Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley, Small Handful Chopped Sage, 3 Garlic Cloves (Crushed)

For the Tomato Sauce: 1 Large Onion (Finely Chopped), 2 Celery Stalks (Finely Chopped), 2 Garlic Cloves (Crushed), 4tbsp Olive Oil, 150ml Red Wine, 1 Rosemary Stalk, 1tsp Sea Salt, 2 Tins Chopped Tomato (Blitzed to a Purée), 1tbsp Caster Sugar, 2 Red Chillies (Sliced Vertically)

Method:

1) To make the meatballs, soak the bread in the milk for a few minutes. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl with the bread soaked in milk and mix well with your hands to combine. Roll the mixture into small balls and store covered in the fridge. Cook the meatballs in an oven at 190c on a lined baking tray for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.

2) To make the tomato sauce, place a heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and sauté the onion, celery and garlic for 10 minutes until soft. Add the red wine and allow to reduce by half. Add the rosemary, sea salt, tomato, sugar and red chillies. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until reduced by half.

3) Serve the meatballs with the tomato sauce and good drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy!

Lamb Meatball Tagine

Meatball Tagine

This is a mashup of two of my favourite recipes – Lamb Tagine and Spiced Meatballs and makes for a super tasty supper. Great for serving friends, it is very easy to prepare.

This dish is great served with some lightly spiced couscous and natural yogurt.

Meatball Tagine
Serves 4

For the Sauce:

Follow the recipe for my Lamb Tagine, omitting the lamb from the recipe and cooking the sauce on the stove top over a low heat for around an hour or until reduced slightly.

For the Meatballs:

Follow the recipe for my spiced lamb meatballs – ignoring the sauce element of the dish. Cook the meatballs in a large non-stick pan over a medium heat. Add the meatballs to the sauce before serving.

Enjoy!

Italian Meatballs

Italian Meatballs

Italian meatballs braised in tomato sauce are a true delight. This is my recipe for no fuss, perfect Italian Meatballs.

Great comfort food for when you have a few mouths to feed – the secret is a blend of minced pork and beef bound with bread and milk.

Roast and then braise these meatballs in your favourite tomato sauce and serve with pasta.

Italian Meatballs
Serves 5

Ingredients:
400g Minced Beef (Preferably Course Ground)
400g Minced Pork (Preferably Belly and Course Ground)
2 Slices White Bread (Gluten Free if Required)
75ml Milk
Large Handful Chopped Parsley
75g Grated Parmesan
1 1/2tsp Dried Oregano
1tsp Sea Salt
2tsp Cracked Black Pepper

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 200c. Remove the crusts from the bread and soak in the milk. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, including the bread and milk, and mix well with your hands to combine.

2) Roll the mixture into balls around the size of a plum – you should get around 15 meatballs.

3) Transfer the meatballs to a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until cooked through. When ready, remove and transfer to a large pan. Pour over your tomato sauce and braise for 5-10 minutes until the sauce has come to a simmer.

4) Serve the meatballs and sauce with pasta and top with a little grated parmesan and cracked black pepper.

Enjoy!

Thai Pork Meatballs, Satay Sauce

Thai Pork Meatballs, Satay Sauce

A bold dish which is perfect for supper with friends or as an appetiser – pork meatballs packed full of Thai flavour and served with a rich and incredibly moreish satay sauce (well, my take on a satay sauce)!

This sauce goes equally well with chicken kebabs or koftas and a little goes a long way. Using a good quality Thai red curry paste for the meatballs will save you loads of time and will taste just as good!

This dish is great with a cucumber relish or crunchy salad.

Thai Pork Meatballs, Satay Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Meatballs: 600g Pork Shoulder Mince, 4tbsp Breadcrumbs (Gluten Free if Required), 4tbsp Red Thai Curry Paste, Zest 2 Limes, 2 Lemongrass Stalks (Chopped), 1tsp Sea Salt, Large Handful Fresh Coriander (Chopped)

For the Satay Sauce: 1tbsp Veg Oil, 1 Small Onion (Finely Chopped), 1 Garlic Clove (Crushed), 1 Scotch Bonnet Chilli (Deseeded and Finely Chopped), 3tbsp Smooth Peanut Butter, 125ml Coconut Cream, 1tbsp Light Brown Sugar, Sea Salt

Method:

1) Prepare the meatballs by combining the minced pork with the other ingredients in a large bowl and mixing well to combine. Divide and roll the mixture into small balls (just smaller than a golf ball). Cover and store in the fridge until ready to cook.

2) Make the sauce by sautéing the onion, garlic and chilli in the oil in a medium saucepan over a low heat for 3 minutes. Add the peanut butter, coconut cream and light brown sugar. Bring to the boil and lightly simmer for 5 minutes until thickened slightly. Season to taste with sea salt. Remove from the heat, allow to cool and set aside.

3) Fry the meatballs in a large covered pan in a little oil over a medium-high heat for around 6-8 minutes per side or until cooked through. When cooked, remove from the pan and serve with the satay sauce.

Enjoy!

Spiced Meatballs, Saffron Rice

Spiced Meatballs, Saffron Rice

A blend of minced beef and lamb with warming spices including cinnamon and allspice makes for some delicious meatballs which pair perfectly with fragrant saffron rice.

This is a great dish for lunch or dinner with friends as the meatballs can be prepared in advance and cook in the time taken to cook the rice. I have paired the rice and meatballs with some sautéed broad beans.

Spiced Meatballs, Saffron Rice

Spiced Meatballs, Saffron Rice
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Spice Blend: 1/2 Cinnamon Stick, 1tsp Ground Sumac, 1tsp Ground Allspice, 1/2 Whole Nutmeg Grated, 2tsp Cumin Seed, 1tsp Coriander Seed, 1tsp Black Peppercorns, 1tsp Cardamom Pods

For the Meatballs: 300g Minced Beef, 300g Minced Lamb, 1 Medium Onion Chopped, Large Handful Parsley Chopped, Small Handful Coriander Chopped, Small Handful Mint Chopped, 1tbsp Ground Cumin, Zest 1 Lemon, Sea Salt, Black Pepper

For the Rice: 280g Basmati Rice, 450ml Boiling Water, 25g Unsalted Butter, White Pepper, Sea Salt, Small Handful Soaked Sultanas and Dried Cranberries, 1/2tsp Saffron Strands, Small Handful Chopped; Parsley, Mint and Tarragon

Method:

1) Prepare the spice blend by combining all of the ingredients in a spice blender and grinding to a fine powder.

2) Prepare the meatballs by combining all ingredients in a large bowl and mixing well – seasoning with a little sea salt and black pepper. Mix to fully combine and roll into small balls.

3) Cook the meatballs in a large frying pan over a low to medium heat. They should take around 10 minutes each side to fully cook through.

4) Meanwhile prepare the rice. Soak the saffron strands in 2tbsp boiling water. Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the rice, season with salt and white pepper, and stir until fully coated in butter. Add the boiling water and turn the heat down low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

5) After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, remove the lid and cover half of the rice with the saffron water. Cover again, leaving off the heat and allow to rest until the meatballs are ready. Once ready, add the sultanas and cranberries to the rice and stir well. Serve in a bowl and garnish with the chopped herbs.

6) Serve the rice with the meatballs, a lemon wedge and some natural yogurt.

Enjoy!

Spiced Lamb Meatballs

Spiced Lamb Meatballs

 

I owe a great debt to Ottolenghi for this glorious recipe. His newest publication – ‘Jerusalem’ masterfully depicts the beautiful cuisine of his native Israel and is the origin of this recipe (with a few small tweaks)!

Lamb meatballs are spiced with cinnamon and allspice and cooked in a wonderfully rich stock alongside dried figs and banana shallots. Cooking slow and low ensures the stock reduces to a delicious consistency – packing a seriously rich punch, the sweetness working in harmony with the salty, herby meatballs.

Ask your butcher for freshly twice-minced lamb shoulder (around 75% lean) to ensure the meatballs remain tender and moist. Topped with greek yogurt and an abundance of fresh herbs – the dish works perfectly with fresh lemon and sultana couscous.

Spiced Lamb Meatballs
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Meatballs: 500g Minced Lamb Shoulder, 1 Medium Onion (Finely Chopped), Large Handful Flat Leaf Parsley (Chopped), 2 Garlic Cloves (Crushed), 1/2 tsp Allspice, 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon, 50g Dried Cranberries, 1/2 Medium Egg (Beaten).

For the Sauce: 4tbsp Sunflower Oil, 5 Banana Shallots (Peeled), 200ml White Wine, 400ml Chicken Stock, 2 Bay Leaves, 3 Thyme Sprigs, 1 tsp Caster Sugar, 150g Whole Dried Figs.

To Finish: 200ml Greek Yogurt, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Large Handful Torn Fresh Herbs – Coriander, Dill, Mint.

Method:

1) Combine the minced lamb with the other meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands until fully combined. Divide into approximately 15 meatballs.

2) Place a large, heavy based pot (a Le Creuset casserole is perfect) on the stove top over a medium heat. Cook the meatballs in the sunflower oil until well browned all over. Remove from the pot and set aside.

3) Brown the shallots in the oil for around 10 minutes. Turn up the heat, add the wine and let reduce for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat back to medium. Add the chicken stock, bay leaves, thyme and caster sugar. Bring to the boil.

4) Add the meatballs and figs to the stock, dispersing amongst the shallots. Ensure there is enough liquid to just about cover the meatballs. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over a very low heat.

5) Cook to cook uncovered over a very low heat for around 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the sauce has reduced considerably (by around two thirds).

6) Serve the meatballs with the sauce. Top with a little greek yogurt and generously sprinkle with fresh herbs.

Enjoy!