Lamb and mint meatball tagine with chermoula
- April 2012
- Serves 4
- Takes 20 minutes to make, 35 minutes to cook
This lamb and mint tagine is great with buttered couscous and a little finely chopped preserved lemon peel.
- 28.1g (9.4g saturated)
- 13.1g (9.3g sugars)
For the meatballs
- 600g lamb mince
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
- 1 tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
- 1 tsp hot paprika
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh mint, plus extra leaves, shredded, to garnish
- 1 tsp salt
- 2-4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for oiling
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 x 7.5cm cinnamon sticks
- 3cm piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp clear honey
- 150ml lamb or chicken stock
For the chermoula
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp harissa paste or ½ tsp minced red chilli from a jar
- 1 tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
- 1 tsp freshly ground coriander ?seeds
- ¾ tsp paprika
- Small pinch of saffron strands (optional)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 20g fresh mint, leaves picked
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Put all the chermoula ingredients into a mini food processor and blend to a smooth paste (or grind in a pestle and mortar). Set aside.
- For the meatballs, put the lamb mince into a bowl with the crushed garlic, cumin and coriander seeds, paprika, chopped mint, salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Mix well with your hands, then shape into 2.5cm balls (about 35g each) with lightly oiled hands.
- Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a small flameproof casserole or large saucepan, add the meatballs and fry briefly on all sides until lightly browned (about 5 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.
- Add the remaining oil (if needed), chopped onions and cinnamon sticks to the oil left in the pan and fry gently for 6-7 minutes until the onion is soft and lightly golden. Stir in the grated ginger and fry for 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes, honey, lamb stock and 2 tbsp of the chermoula, then bring to a simmer. Drop the meatballs into the sauce, part-cover with a lid, then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring now and then, until the sauce has reduced and thickened nicely. Stir in the remaining chermoula, season, scatter with the shredded mint leaves and serve with buttered couscous or pasta.
This tagine is great with buttered couscous and a little finely chopped preserved lemon peel.
You can freeze the uncooked meatballs at the end of step 2. Open-freeze for 10 minutes, then put in a container between sheets of baking paper for up to 1 month. Defrost overnight in the fridge, then finish the recipe.
Chermoula is a fresh mint and herb paste from North Africa.
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