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Spiced Lamb Meatball - Recipe

Middle Eastern flavours without the heat. These Lamb Meatballs are exactly that, spiced with Harissa Paste and Muhammara, then baked in a simple tomato sauce. Served a bed of couscous and top with toasted flaked almonds, pomegranate seeds, dollops of hummus with a drizzle of plain yoghurt.
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Lamb Meatballs

500g Lamb Mince
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tsp Dried mixed herbs
Cloves of garlic (divided) Crushed
2 Tbsp Harissa Paste
1 Tbsp Muhammara
1Small onion Finely chopped or grated
½ Cup Breadcrumbs
¼ Cup Fresh Coriander or Parsley Finely chopped
Tbsp Olive Oil (divided)
Tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)

2 Cup Couscous
2 tsp Dried mixed herbs
1 tsp Salt
2 Cup Boiling Water

Toppings & Garnish
¼ Cup Fresh Coriander or Parsley Finely chopped
⅓ Cup Toasted Flaked Almonds
⅓ Cup Pomegranate Seeds
Hummus Optional
Plain Yoghurt Optional


Add the mince to a mixing bowl and season with salt, pepper and the dried mixed herbs. Then add 2 cloves of crushed garlic, then add the harissa and muhammara
Next, add the chopped onion, breadcrumbs, fresh herbs and egg

Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed through (if the mixture is too wet, add more breadcrumbs)
Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a baking dish, then form the mince mixture into roughly tablespoon sized meatballs (I got 20 meatballs out of this mixture). Place the balls into the baking dish and set aside

Preheat the oven to 200°C
In a small saucepan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and 1 clove of crushed garlic and bring to medium heat to soften the garlic. After a minute or two, add the tin of tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and the dried herbs and cook on medium for around 5 to 8 minutes

Tip: I always add a pinch of sugar to tomatoes to help balance the acidity. Cooking the tomatoes out before adding to the dish also helps to bring out their natural sweetness
Once the tomatoes are cooked I like to blend them smooth with an immersion blender. This step is optional though
Pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs, covering them all

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes (make the couscous when there are 10 minutes left to go)

Note: The amount of couscous in the ingredients list if for 4 servings. Please adjust this to the amount of people you are cooking for. I usually only cook for 2. The ratio couscous to water is always 1:1. So for 1 cup of couscous you will need 1 cup of boiling water. To add flavour, include the dried herbs or you can use stock powder
Add the couscous, herbs and salt to a bowl, mix through and boil your kettle

Pour the boiling water evenly over the couscous and immediately cover with plastic wrap or a tight fitting lid. Set aside for 10 minutes, until all the water is absorbed, then fluff the couscous with a fork

At this point I mixed through the fresh herbs, toasted almonds and pomegranate seeds. You can also mix through a couple of spoonfuls of the spiced oil released by the meatballs during baking if the couscous needs a little more moisture
Serve the meatballs on a bed of couscous. Drizzle and/or dollop over the hummus and yoghurt if using and sprinkle with any leftover nuts, seeds and herbs


Recipe by Vanessa Vermaak @ My homemade Kitchen


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