Meatball tagine

Meatball tagine is a one pot dish with delicious Moroccan flavours
Meatball tagine
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the meatballs

  • 800 g minced lamb or beef
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 6 tbsp finely ground breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp ground sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 eggs

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes, blended until smooth
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander

For the green pepper salsa

  • 4 green peppers, roasted, skinned and seeded
  • 1 cloves garlic
  • 1 preserved lemons, pulp taken out, skin finely diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp harissa

Method

1. For the green pepper salsa: preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place the green peppers and garlic clove on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 45 minutes, or until the skins are blackened.

2. Remove the peppers from the oven and place into a bowl and cover with cling film. Allow the peppers to sweat in the residual heat for a few minutes, until they are cool enough to handle. Peel off the skins with your fingers, then slice the peppers open and remove the seeds and stem.

3. Roughly chop the soft flesh into small dice. Squeeze the roasted garlic clove into a bowl and add the preserved lemon, parsley, ground cumin, olive oil, white wine vinegar and harissa paste. Mix well to combine, then fold in the chopped green pepper. Spoon into a bowl and set aside until ready to serve.

4. For the sauce: heat the olive oil in a large heavy pan. Add the garlic cloves and gently fry for 2-3 minutes, without browning.

5. Add the pureed chopped tomatoes and stir well. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to the boil, then cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the cinnamon, sugar, black pepper and coriander. Leave to cook for a further 2-3 minutes, uncovered. Keep warm over a very low heat.

6. For the meatballs: place all of the ingredients for the meatballs, except for the eggs, into a bowl and mix well. With damp hands, pinch off small pieces of the meatball mixture and roll into walnut-sized balls. Place the finished meatballs on a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Set aside.

7. Transfer the tomato sauce into the base of a tagine dish or large wide pan with a lid. Remove the whole garlic cloves and discard. Cover the tagine or pan and bring the boil.

8. Remove the lid and drop the meatballs gently on top of the tomato sauce, leaving some space in the middle of the pan. Make wells with the back of a spoon in the sauce and crack in the eggs. Cover again with the lid and cook over a low heat for about ten minutes, or until the eggs are just set and the meatballs are cooked through.

9. Season the dish with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve straight from the tagine or pan with the green pepper salsa and some chunks of bread on the side for dipping.

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