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North African meatballs

North African meatballs

  • Preparation Time25 mins
  • Cooking Time45 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium

For the North African sauce

2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, zested
50g briny olives, pitted, chopped
125ml white wine
60ml chicken stock
1 (400g) tinned crushed or diced tomatoes
1 tsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
Pinch ground cinnamon

1) In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic until soft but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and olives and cook for 1 more minute. Add the white wine, deglaze the pan and let it reduce for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the stock, tinned tomatoes, sugar, red chilli flakes and cinnamon and simmer to blend flavours, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

2) In a medium bowl, add the egg and tomato puree and stir until smooth. Add the coriander, ginger, cumin and cinnamon and mix until well blended. Stir in the beef and oats, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and combine gently after each addition. Do not over mix. Rolling with your hands, make about 32 meatballs, about 2.5cm in diameter.

3) In a large saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium heat and brown the meatballs in batches until golden on all sides. Add more oil, as needed. Transfer the meatballs to the pan with the sauce and let simmer for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve over the couscous with dried dates.

Couscous with dried dates:

Bring the water, stock and oil to the boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the dates followed by the couscous. Cover the pan tightly with a lid, remove from the heat, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

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