Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
Recipe taken from Fine Cooking. This can be served over herbed couscous, steamed rice or whatever else tickles your fancy. For people out there who hate tomato chunks in their food, my husband for example, puree the tomatoes first. This said it makes about 30 meatballs. I ended up with 20.
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumb
- 1⁄3 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne, divided
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes with juice
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 lb ground beef (preferably 85% lean)
- 2⁄3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
- Combine breadcrumbs and milk in mixing bowl and let sit 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy 10" skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté till translucent, about 5 minute.
- Add 1 tsp cumin, cinnamon and 1/8 tsp cayenne. Cook 30 seconds.
- Add tomatoes and juices, 1 cup water, and 1/2 tsp salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a steady simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
- While the sauce simmers, prepare the meatballs. Mash the breadcrumbs and milk with a fork to a smooth paste. Add the beef, remaining 1 tsp cumin and 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1/2 the cilantro, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and several grinds of pepper. Mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.
- Wet your hands to keep the mixture from sticking to them. Roll a couple of tablespoons into 1 1/2" balls; you should have about 30.
- Nestle the meatballs into the sauce, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove lid and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes to thicken the sauce.
- Stir in the remaining cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste.
I've had this dish several times, and it really is quite flavorful and unique. It's a great break from the tired ways of using ground beef. I make it once every two to three months when I get the desire for it, and the urge for something a bit different.