I put together this recipe for Gary’s Quality Meats this week using his fabulous lamb mince. Good quality lamb mince has a fatty content that naturally binds the meatballs together, eliminating the need for breadcrumbs and eggs which can dull the flavour of the dish. This dish is far from dull and really packs a flavour punch.. enjoy.
1 heaped tbs pine nuts, roasted until golden and finely chopped
1 tbs ras el hanout (available from deli’s or gourmet food stores)
500g Gary’s minced lamb
1 tsp sea salt
¼ cup olive oil (to brown the meatballs)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 handful mint leaves, finely chopped (reserve extra mint to garnish)
1 tbs smoked paprika
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs ground coriander
1 tbs ground fennel seeds
cracked pepper and extra sea salt to taste
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tsp raw honey
½ cup unsweetened natural yoghurt
1 tbs tahini
1 lemon, juiced
water to thin (if necessary)
Gently heat the olive oil a deep frying pan and saute the onion and garlic until transparent.
Take off the heat and add the chopped pine nuts and the ras el hanout.
Add the onion mixture to a large bowl together with the lamb mince, sea salt and cracked pepper and combine. Roll the mixture into small meatballs and set aside.
Re heat the deep frying pan with ¼ cup olive oil. Brown the meatballs in batches and remove from the heat once done. Drain the excess oil from the pan.
Reduce the heat slightly and fry off the garlic for 2 minutes, add the mint and the spices, tomato and raw honey and bring to simmer stirring well. Gently cook the tomato mixture for 5 minutes, then return the meatballs to the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time to fully immerse the meatballs in the sauce.
To make the tahini dressing simply mix together the yoghurt, tahini and lemon juice until combined. If the dressing is too thick, loosen it with a little water.
Spoon the tagine out onto plates and drizzle with tahini yoghurt and fresh mint.