Full Recipe

Mediterranean Lamb Meatballs

I’m not quite sure why I came up with this recipe this week but maybe it was because last Friday I noticed lamb mince as Churchill Meats were setting up for the weekend. That prompted me to start thinking about making meatballs for dinner one night. Rather than stick to a pretty standard sort of mix and sauce I decide to combine a few Mediterranean ingredients and fresh broad beans which are now available from both Jason and Sally in our market. The result was delicious – so much so that Churchill Meats sold out of lamb mince. I made them in a large cazuela.

  • Ingredients (meatballs)
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 small onion very finely minced
  • 3-4 cloves crushed garlic
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp Espelette
  • 1 tsp toasted cumin seeds, freshly ground with a mortar and pestle
  • 1 tsp toasted coriander seeds freshly ground with a mortar and pestle
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 50 -70g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp each of finely chopped parsley, mint and coriander
  • Salt and pepper
  • Ingredients (sauce)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tin cherry tomatoes in juice
  • 100ml white wine
  • Pinch of Espelette or cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of Herbes de Provence
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Good handful of broad beans, cooked, ½ with shells, ½ shelled
  • Garnish
  • 1 preserved lemon, flesh removed and discarded and skin chopped
  • Finely chopped coriander and parsley

Method

In a bowl combine all the meatball ingredients well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Roll spoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Heat some olive oil in a cazuela. Brown all the meatballs in batches. Remove and set aside.

If necessary add a little more oil to the cazuela. Add the onion and cook slowly until it’s very soft. Add the garlic, Espelette and herbes de Provence and cook for another minute. Increase the heat and add the wine and bubble for a minute. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock. Simmer gently for at least 15-20 minutes or longer. Season a little.

Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for another 15 minutes. Just before serving gently mix in the broad beans so they just heat through. Taste and season. Sprinkle over the garnish. You’ll find that the meatballs gradually soak up a lot of the sauce.