Moroccan Meatballs with Orange Scented Cous Cous

These aromatic little bundles of Moroccan Meatball joy make a fabulously cheap and cheerful, midweek family meal or are equally impressive on the dinner party menu.  Lightly spiced,  tender and poached in a rich, lemony sauce they will appeal to everyone and can be made ahead of time.  Even better, they freeze really well so why not double the batch?

Prep time:   25 Minutes

Cooking Time:   30 Minutes          

$  Low Budget

Serves 4

For the Moroccan Meatballs:

500gm of lamb mince

2 garlic cloves, finely diced

2 tsp of ground cumin

2 tsp of ground coriander

1 tsp of turmeric

1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp of ground black pepper

1/2 tsp of dried chilli flakes (optional)

Stems of 1 bunch of coriander, washed and finely chopped

Grated rind of 1 lemon

1 tbs of fruit chutney

1/2 a cup of bread crumbs

1 egg

Sea salt and pepper

For the Sauce:

2 cloves of garlic, final chopped

1 brown onion, diced

1 tsp of ground cumin

1 tsp of ground coriander

1 tsp of chilli flakes (optional)

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup of chicken stock

400gm tin of diced tomatoes

1 tbs of tomato paste

1 cup of coriander leaves

1/2 tsp of sugar

Sea salt and pepper

Toasted pistachios, roughly chopped for garnish

Greek yoghurt and coriander leaves for garnish

For the Cous Cous:

2 cups of cous cous

3 cups of  boiling water

A generous pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper

1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil

Grated rind of an orange

In a large bowl combine all the Moroccan Meatball ingredients and get your hands in to combine really well. I find that if you make a well in the centre of the mince and place your ingredients in the well, you can fold the mince in and everything combines better.  Wet your hands and roll the meatballs to about golf ball size, put them on a plate and set aside.

Heat a large heavy based frypan and lightly fry the onion and garlic until the onion is soft.  Add your spices and fry until the onion is coated and the spices are aromatic.  Don’t worry if they start to stick, squeeze the lemon juice in and this will deglaze the pan, lifting any flavour of the bottom.  Add your stock, tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar.  Stir to combine and bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a  low simmer and  gently add the meatballs.  I don’t fry them before hand, they are nice and soft after poaching gently in the liquid.  Pop the lid on and allow them to poach for 20 minutes.  Remove the lid and stir gently to toss the meatballs and leave the lid off for another 10 minutes to allow the liquid to reduce a little.  Just before serving scatter over the coriander leaves (set some aside for garnish) and gently stir again.

In a large bowl pop in the cous cous, boiling water and olive oil.  Cover with cling wrap and allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Remove the cling wrap, grate in the orange rind and season with salt and pepper.  Fluff the cous cous with a fork and mix well to combine.

To serve the Moroccan Meatballs, divide the cous cous among four serving plates and top with the meat balls and a generous portion of the sauce.  Top with yoghurt, toasted pistachios and coriander leaves and serve with steamed greens or a crisp green salad.

Are you a fan of Middle Eastern inspired food? You may like to try this…..

https://emsfoodforfriends.com.au/middle-eastern-lamb-shoulder-freekeh-salad-garlic-yoghurt/