Sunday, March 30, 2014

Comfort Meatballs Take 2

I previously wrote about my favorite meatball recipe (find it here).  It was tangy and tasted like something you would eat in a ranch somewhere.

However, a recipe I found in my Ottolenghi cookbook introduced me to a whole different meaning of meatballs.  A hearty mixture of lamb and beef, mixed in with aromatic Middle Eastern spices, and topped with zesty and very creaming tahina sauce.  Divine.

So let's dive in.
For the meatballs, you will need:
300g of ground beef
300g of ground lamb
35g of stale white bread without the crust (equivalent to around 3 slices)
3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
35 grams of finely chopped flat parsley
1 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon of allspice (recipe calls 2 1/2 teaspoons of pimento which is hard to find)
1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 egg
Spray oil

For the sauce:
150 ml of tahini paste
150 ml of water
70 ml of white wine vinegar
1 clove of finely chopped garlic
a pinch of salt

For the garnish:
Bunch of parsley, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, slightly toasted
Zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 180C.

For the meatballs:
Soak the bread in some water.  Squeeze out the water and with your hands, cut the bread into chunks.  Mix in with all other ingredients in a large bowl.  Shape into 3cm balls and fry in a shallow pan.  Brown on all sides and remove.  Do not cook through as you will continue to cook the meatballs in the oven.  Arrange in an oven-proof dish and set aside.

For the sauce:
Mix all ingredients until thick and creamy consistency.  If too thick, add a 'dash' of water. 

Pour on top of meatballs and bake, covered for 10 minutes.  Remove the foil, bake for another 5 minutes.

Meatballs as they are out of the oven
Sprinkle with zest, chopped parsley, and pine nuts.  Serve with vermicelli rice.

Toasting the vermicelli

Devour immediately.

(Note: Original recipe can be found here)

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