Moroccan meatballs

These moreish meatballs are given heat by piquant harissa in a recipe from Allegra McEvedy
By Allegra McEvedy
Moroccan meatballs
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 10 minutes soaking
  • Effort: easy


For the meatballs

  • 1 1/2 wholemeal flatbreads or pitta bread
  • 120 ml milk
  • 1/2 kg minced lamb
  • small bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • small handful mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

For the sauce

  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 x 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp harissa
  • handfuls basil, leaves picked and chopped
  • handfuls parsley, chopped


1. For the meatballs: rip the flatbread into small pieces and place into a bowl with the milk. Leave to soak for 10 minutes, or until softened.

2. Discard the milk, then put the bread into a mixing bowl, add the mince and stir in the parsley, mint, oregano and garlic. Season with salt and black pepper. Mix well, then roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls (about 20g each).

3. Heat a griddle pan until smoking and brown the balls quickly for 5-6 minutes, or until browned all over. Set aside.

4. For the sauce: heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and gently fry the crushed garlic for 1-2 minutes. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and harissa and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced to half its volume.

5. Put in the meatballs into the pan with the sauce and continue to simmer for a further 20 minutes with the lid on, or until the sauce is thickened.

6. Just before serving, stir in the chopped herbs.

For Allegra's other mezze ideas, see her recipes for roasted garlic and pumpkin hummus, magic beans and flatbread.

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