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


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


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.


Spiced Lamb Rump, Za’atar, Orange Blossom, Flatbread

Spiced Lamb Rump, Za'atar, Flatbread

Lamb rump is a fantastic cut which is becoming ever more popular. Here lamb rump is marinated in a spiced oil before being seared and roasted.

Za’atar and orange blossom spiced yogurt and homemade flatbreads are the perfect accompaniment.

Spiced Lamb Rump, Za’atar, Flatbread
Serves 4


For the Lamb: 4 Lamb Rumps (Trimmed), 4tbsp Olive Oil, 2 Garlic Cloves (Crushed), 2tsp Cumin Seeds, 1tsp Cayenne Pepper, 1tsp Turmeric, 2tsp Ground Coriander, 1tbsp Lemon Juice, 1tsp Sea Salt

For the Za’atar Yogurt: 125ml Natural Yogurt, 3tsp Za’atar, 2tsp Orange Blossom Water

For the Flatbreads: 125g Plain Flour, 125g Self Raising Flour, 1tsp Fine Sea Salt, 2tbsp Rapeseed Oil, 150ml Warm Water


1) Combine all of the ingredients for the lamb (excluding the lamb rump) in a shallow dish and mix well to combine. Add the lamb and coat well. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

2) Make the flatbreads by mixing the flours, salt and oil together in a large bowl or mixer. Gradually add the warm water whilst mixing until combined. Continue to mix/knead until a smooth dough is achieved. Wrap in cling film and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

3) Make the Za’atar yogurt by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl – add the Za’atar and orange blossom water to taste.

4) Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and roll out until thin. Store the flatbreads between sheets of cling film until ready to use.

5) Pre heat the oven to 200c. Place a large frying pan over a high heat. Sear the lamp rumps for 2 minutes on all sides until well seared. Transfer to the oven and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until cooked to your liking. Remove and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.

6) Meanwhile, cook the flatbreads in a large non-stick pan over a high heat for around 2 minutes each side. Keep warm until ready to serve.

7) Slice the lamb rump and serve with the Za’atar yogurt and flatbreads.


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


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


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.


Spiced Lamb Burgers

Spiced Lamb Burgers


Who doesn’t love a great burger? Although I’m normally a purist – favouring a blend of beef rump and chuck, I love lamb burgers. Beef is best left unadulterated, but lamb allows you to get creative with the spicing and can handle a myriad of accompaniments.

Get your butcher to mince lamb shoulder for you – it has the perfect fat content of 20-25% which will make your burgers deliciously juicy and tender. It is also best to have the meat minced only once.

This is my recipe for the best spiced lamb burgers – not too hot so it can be paired with a very spicy apricot and habanero sauce.

Spiced Lamb Burgers
Makes 6


750g Minced Lamb Shoulder
2 Birds Eye Chillies
4 Tbsp Chopped Coriander
2 Garlic Cloves Minced
2 Tsp Sea Salt
1 Tsp Cracked Black Pepper
1 1/2 Tsp Paprika
1 1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp Garam Masala


1) Mix all ingredients except the lamb in a large bowl. Add the lamb and mix with your hands to combine – scrunching the ingredients together.

2) Form into even patties. Transfer to the fridge until needed. Allow the burgers to come to room temperature before frying.

3) Fry the burgers in a large pan over a high heat for around 4 minutes each side or until just cooked.