Baked Lamb Meatballs in Tahini Sauce

Baked Lamb Meatballs in Tahini Sauce

Although we don’t eat lamb (or meat in general) very often, if I had to choose, lamb definitely would be one of my favourites. I like slow roasting the shoulder or leg of lamb, but I’ve never cooked a rack of lamb before, somehow I worry that I’ll mess the timing up and it’ll be dry and chewy. Luckily there are plenty of other ways to enjoy lamb, like these baked lamb meatballs. I’ve been experimenting with these meatballs lately, adding different spices, and so far I like this way the best. Especially the addition of cinnamon and ginger makes such a big difference. Another advantage of this dish is that it takes no time to cook, but you’ll have dish full of flavours.

BAKED LAMB MEATBALLS IN TAHINI SAUCE

Ingredients:

500g lamb mince

1 onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/3 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped

For the sauce:

1/2 cup tahini

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

salt & pepper to taste

chopped fresh mint/ pistachios to serve (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the lamb, onion, garlic, spices, olive oil and coriander, using metal spoon or just using your hands. Shape the mixture into the meatballs and arrange them in a single layer in a baking dish.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile the meatballs in the oven, combine the tahini, lemon juice, cumin and slowly add 3/4 cup of water to create a smooth sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the sauce over the partially baked meatballs and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until meatballs are thoroughly cooked. The sauce will look like a thick glaze.  Garnish with chopped nuts or mint. Serve with boiled rice/spinach pilau rice or lentil.

Baked Lamb Meatballs in Tahini Sauce

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Moroccan Lentil and Lamb Stew

It’s a really hearty, earthy, yet fruity light dish. I can’t say it’s the most presentable creation as the red cabbage lends a distinctive monotone colouring to the whole thing. However, if not made for dinner party, it will impress just as well as a mid week supper. This dish is a winner and a budget friendly one too. I served it with a yoghurt and tahini lemon drizzle to top, but it’s just as good on it’s own.

Moroccan Lamb and Lentil Stew

MOROCCAN LENTIL AND LAMB STEW

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 onions, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves,  finely chopped

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons ground coriander

pinch ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

1 teaspoon za’tar (optional)

350 g dried green lentil, rinsed

1.5 litre chicken stock

1/2 small red cabbage, finely shredded

400 g lamb leg steaks, diced

50 g dried apricots, chopped

50 g dried currants, chopped (optional)

1 lemon, for squeezing

salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a large casserole heat 1 tablespoon of oil, add the diced lamb and brown over a high heat until it just cooked. Set aside.
  2. Add the remaining oil to the casserole and gently cook the onion until softened. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then add the spices and cook for 1 more minute.
  3. Add the lentil and stock and bring to a simmer. Add the cabbage and cook, covered, for 30-35 minutes, until the lentil are tender.
  4. Stir in the apricots, currants and lamb for the final 10 minutes of cooking time.
  5. Check seasoning, squeeze some lemon juice, serve on its own or drizzle with Yoghurt & Tahini dressing.

Yoghurt & Tahini Dressing:

1/4 cup tahini paste, at room temperature

Juice of half a lemon

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups plain yogurt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Mix by hand or blend in a food processor everything up and drizzle on top.
  • The tahini sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.

Moroccan Lentil and Lamb Stew

Lamb Meatballs with Rhubarb and Pomegranate

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When I saw this recipe on Helen Graves blog I couldn’t wait to try it. I love rhubarb in everything and thought the combination of the ingredients is quite unusual. I did tweak the recipe a little, for instance, I didn’t have Turkish pepper paste or Turkish chillies, so I already can not call the meatballs ‘Turkish’. I replaced the Turkish paste with Harissa paste instead, as well as adding fresh pomegranate as a topping at the end. With all the rest – I did follow exact recipe. As a result, I liked it but Mark didn’t, saying it was a little too sour for his ‘refined’ palette. I was a bit disappointed to begin with because I really thought that would be a great dish, but the problem was that this dish was a bit on a sour side. And it is great if you like it (like me), but if you have quite sensitive palette, maybe better to leave out.

I’d like to cook this dish again in future but I would definitely replace the rhubarb with, maybe, plums or apricots. But I leave it up to you, to make your own choice.

LAMB MEATBALLS WITH RHUBARB AND POMEGRANATE

Ingredients:

500g lean lamb mince

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons Harissa paste

12- teaspoons mild chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 slices bread soaked in not too much of milk until completely wet, then squeeze the excess of water

oil & butter for frying

For the sauce:

2 sticks rhubarb (approx 300g)

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

generous splash white wine

1 tablespoon sugar

pistachios or fresh pomegranate to garnish (optional)

Method:

1. Make the meatballs by combining the lamb mince, onion, garlic, Harissa paste, chilli, cinnamon, bread and some salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix really well using your hands, then shape into 25 balls. In a frying pan, heat a splash of oil and knob of butter. Fry the balls in batches, about 5 or 6 at a time, until browned, then set aside. Drain the fat off into a bowl but keep it set aside.

2. De-glaze the pan with a good glug of the wine. Add the rhubarb,  pomegranate molasses, sugar and some salt. Add a generous splash of water, bring to a simmer, put the lid on and cook for 10 minutes. Return the meatballs to the pan with some of the drained fat, and cook for a further 10 minutes with the lid on. Serve with cous cous or bread, or rice, or as a pitta bread filler and yoghurt. Garnish with pistachios or pomegranate seeds.

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