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.

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Pork & Courgette Patties, Sumac Yogurt

Pork & Courgette Patties, Sumac Yogurt

These deliciously light spiced pork and courgette patties are adapted from a great Ottolenghi recipe.

Best served with sumac and honey yogurt dressing, pita bread and a root vegetable slaw.

Pork & Courgette Patties, Sumac Yogurt
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Patties: 700g Lean Minced Pork, 1 Large Courgette (Grated), 1 Small Bunch Spring Onions (Finely Sliced), 1 Egg Yolk, 3 Small Garlic Cloves (Crushed), 2tsp Ground Cumin, 2tsp Sea Salt, 1tsp Cayenne, 1 1/2tsp Cracked Black Pepper

For the Sumac Yogurt: 150g Sour Cream, 75g Greek Yogurt, 2tsp Lemon Zest, 1tbsp Lemon Juice, 1 Garlic Clove (Crushed), 2tbsp Olive Oil, 1tbsp Sumac, 1tbsp Honey, 3tbsp Chopped Mint, 3tbsp Chopped Coriander, 1/2tsp Sea Salt

For the Root Vegetable Slaw: 2 Carrots (Julienned), 1/2 Large Celeriac (Julienned), 3 Small Cooked Beetroot (Finely Sliced), 3tbsp Olive Oil, 2tbsp Chopped Mint, Small Handful Salad Leaves, 1tsp Sea Salt

Method:

1) To prepare the patties, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well until the courgette is fully incorporated. Shape the mixture into small and equal patties and store in the fridge until ready to cook.

2) Prepare the sumac yogurt by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside to serve.

3) Prepare the root vegetable slaw by combining all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside to serve.

4) Fry the patties in a large, well oiled frying pan over a medium-high heat for around 6-8 minutes each side or until cooked through. It is often helpful to cover the pan for the second half of cooking to ensure the patties will be fully cooked whilst maintaining their moisture.

5) Serve the patties with some warmed pita, the sumac yogurt and some root vegetable slaw.

Enjoy!