This delightful recipe comes from "Cooking Moroccan" by Tess Mallos. The meatballs do not need to be browned, which simplifies the prep. A tagine is an clay vessel, however, you do not need one to prepare this dish.
- 1⁄2 onion, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons Italian parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 slices white bread, crusts removed
- 1 egg
- 18 ounces ground lamb or 18 ounces ground beef
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Herb and Lemon Sauce
- 4 teaspoons butter or 4 teaspoons oil
- 1⁄2 onion, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 red chili peppers, seeded and sliced or 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1⁄2 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1⁄2 preserved lemon, pulp removed and rind cut into strips (optional)
- Prepare the meatballs: put the onion and parsley in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
- Tear the bread into pieces, add to the onion, along with the egg, and process briefly.
- Add the meat, cumin, paprika, pepper and 1 teaspoons salt and process to a thick paste, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally.
- Alternative preparation: grate the onion, chop the parsley, crumb the bread, and add to the meat in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Knead until the mixture is paste like in consistency.
- With moistened hands, shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls and place them on a tray. Cover and refrigerate until required.
- Prepare the sauce: heat the butter or oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Cook over low heat until softened and golden.
- Add the paprika, turmeric, cumin and chili or cayenne pepper, and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
- Add the chicken stock and cilantro and bring to a boil.
- Add the meatballs to the pan, shaking so that they settle into the sauce. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add most of the parsley and the lemon juice and season, if necessary. Return to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
- If using preserved lemon, add now.
- Transfer to a tagine or bowl, and sprinkle with remaining parsley.
- Note 1: author suggests serving with crusty bread. I also suggest rice or couscous.
- Note 2: I substituted a yellow curry powder for the turmeric, as turmeric is a principal ingredient in curry powder.
- Note 3: I sometimes need to add a little additional stock for the sauce, depending on the pot I use.