These Meatballs are made from minced lamb and incredibly delicious and easy to make. They are simple & economical enough to prepare for a midweek supper and special enough for a casual dinner party or feast. You can serve them up with brown rice (I love Basmati Brown), Couscous, Quinoa, Caulirice or wholemeal flatbreads. I always make double and freeze half as they freeze well. I also don’t add any breadcrumbs so they are very soft, so be gentle with them when they are cooking. The tomato sauce I roasted the Meatballs in was a batch that I had made beforehand. I like to make a whole load of tomato sauce monthly and freeze for future use. This is such a great habit to get into as it means you always have beautiful fresh and healthy tomato sauce on hand for a healthy supper. The store bought versions are generally packed with sugars and thickeners.
- 500g lean minced lamb
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (if you have smoked salt use it here!)
- handful fresh coriander
- 1 free range egg
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 green chili (you can leave this out if your family don’t like hot food)
- Spices: 1/2 tsp each of: Ground Cumin, Tumeric, Cinnamon, Coriander, Paprika
- 1/2 red onion very finely chopped
- 2 tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon (you can leave this out if you dont have them)
- 750g Cooked tomato sauce
- Handful of olives, a mix is nice
- Set the oven to 180C – moderate temp (every oven is different so bear that in mind.. mine is a tad hot)
- Blend all the above ingredients, except the onion in your food processor so its fully combined.
- Take it out the food processor and place in a bowl, and add the onion and combine (if you blend the onion in it will become mush and you want little crunchy bits instead)
- Wetting your hands with a little olive oil, roll the lamb into balls of just bigger than a generous tablespoon of meat (You can make them any size you wish).
- Place to one side in the fridge.
- You have two options here – you can either gently brown the balls in a non-stick pan with a little oil – this seals in the meat before you cook it in the over, or you can just put them straight into the tomato olive mixture depending on your time scales. However if you are pressed for time you don’t have to do this and just add them raw.
- Place your tomato sauce in your baking dish – I used a Tagine dish I bought in Morocco which I love – but any dish will do – you want the sauce to cover the bottom about an inch thick.
- Toss the olive over the sauce & nestle the raw (or browned) meatballs all around the dish.
- Place in the oven and cook for 25-30mins or until nicely browned. You will see the sauce thicken lots as moisture evaporates, if you feel like it is getting too dry you can add a little water – although I like it quite thick myself. And if the meat is getting too brown then cover with foil.
- Serve with freshly chopped coriander and one of the above suggestions. I also like to serve it with something raw and zingy – like a fennel and radish salad.
- If you have leftovers – store in the fridge or freezer depending on when you want to eat them. I had some the day after in a flatbread with fresh chopped herbs like mint and parsley and my tahini sauce!