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    You are in: Home / Recipes / North African Meatballs Recipe
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    North African Meatballs

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    1 hr 10 mins

    25 mins

    45 mins

    Julie B's Hive's Note:

    Was relaxing with the Food Network yesterday and I caught Melissa d'Arabian's new show. These looked so delicious I just had to get right on the recipe. She served them with couscous with dried dates and glazed carrots but it's the meatballs that had me drooling.

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    Serves: 4


    1-inch ...

    Units: US | Metric




    1. 1
    2. 2
      Sauté the onions and garlic in a large saucepan until soft. Add zest and olives; cook for 1 minute. Add wine and deglaze the pan and let reduce for a few minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon. Simmer for about 7 minutes. Season to taste.
    3. 3
    4. 4
      Whisk the egg and tomato paste until smooth. Add the cilantro, ginger, cumin, and cinnamon. Mix until well blended. Add in the ground beef and rolled oats and season to taste. Combine well but do not overmix. Make 32 1-inch meatballs.
    5. 5
      Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and cook meatballs until browned on all sides. Add oil as needed. Add to the sauce and simmer for 20 minutes.
    6. 6
      Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve over couscous with dried dates.

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    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on March 02, 2010


      Very good and tasty; not too difficult, either. I didn't use wine, and just added a little extra chicken broth instead. I'm not a huge fan of olives, so I used less than what was called for, and it was just right for us. I would definitely recommend doubling the sauce, as others have mentioned. I'll have to try her couscous and carrots next time; they sound great, as well.

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    • on February 26, 2010


      This made very tender (but not falling apart) meatballs. I used a pound of meat because that was easier, and increased other ingredients slightly. I was nervous about the tomato paste but I think that is what really makes their texture. For the sauce, I used additional onions and garlic, and had to use lime zest rather than lemon because my only lemon had already been zested. I used closer to 20 oz crushed tomatoes (and also threw in the rest of the can of tomato paste). I put the meatballs directly into the sauce. I only cooked half of the meatballs this time (with the full amount of sauce) and served this with carrots (cooked with cumin, pepper, and garlic/onion powders) over millet (a great grain to sub for couscous), which was nice with the flavorful sauce. It is a nice change from usual Italian-type tomatoey meatball things.

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    • on January 12, 2010


      EXCELLENT! We loved the flavors here. It was just so full of flavor; a little sweet, a little bit of hot, and the ginger added a touch of special. I served with Moroccan Sesame Potatoes and cucumbers seasoned with sumac & lemon, but next time I will pair with rice, couscous, or pasta in order to get every last bite of the sauce. The sauce is thick and coats the meatballs (and would be great doubled). I used ground turkey and subbed apple juice for the wine. The meatballs were moist, but held together well. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

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    Read All Reviews (5)


    Nutritional Facts for North African Meatballs

    Serving Size: 1 (333 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 4

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 481.5
    Calories from Fat 304
    Total Fat 33.8 g
    Saturated Fat 8.0 g
    Cholesterol 111.1 mg
    Sodium 530.1 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 21.3 g
    Dietary Fiber 4.9 g
    Sugars 7.0 g
    Protein 21.1 g

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