RECIPE: African tapas style meatballs with pomegranate glaze

Meatballs with pomegranate glaze from Morocco

Morocco is among the main pomegranate producers and this recipe is an ode to that, boasting the vibrant flavours the country is most famous for.

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

  • 1 shallot, very finely chopped – reserve for sauce.
  • 500g ground lamb
  • 4-5 large garlic cloves, minced or crushed through a press
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped herbs – flat leaf parsley, mint or cilantro, or a blend
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, more to taste
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper, more to taste
  • ¼ cup to ½ cup toasted bread crumbs (feel free to use gluten-free bread crumbs)

Pomegranate Glaze

  • shallot, finely chopped
  • 1½ cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 tbs maple syrup or honey.
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • teaspoon ground allspice

Garnish

  • Pomegranate seeds, fresh herbs (coriander, parsley or mint), or optional toasted pine nuts

Method

  1. Place meatball ingredients in a medium bowl. Using hands, combine, adding enough breadcrumbs to make them easy to roll into balls. Cook a “tester”. Taste, adjust salt.
  2. Using wet hands, roll into ping-pong-sized balls and set aside. You should have about 12-16.
  3. Start the glaze. In a small saute pan or pot, saute shallot in a drizzle of olive oil, over medium heat, for three minutes or until tender. Add pomegranate juice, pinch of salt and pepper, maple and allspice.
  4. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to medium, then simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until it reduces to ½ cup. Turn heat off.
  5. While glaze is reducing, cook the meat balls. Heat 1 tbs olive oil, over medium heat, in a large skillet. Working in batches (don’t over crowd), brown the meatballs, giving the skillet an occasional shake to roll them around and cook the edges. Once browned, turn the heat down to lowest setting, cover and cook through for a few minutes.
  6. Place in an oven proof dish, pour glaze over top and keep warm until ready to serve, or refrigerate and reheat.
  7. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and herbs.
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