With a pack of mince meat in the fridge and a new cookbook in hand, I decided to try out this recipe from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion. We had all the ingredients to hand, excepting the coriander, but a tube of coriander paste in my fridge was a good substitute. For dinner, this was served with greek yoghurt and a green salad, but it would also be great served with a couscous salad.
- 500g of mince lamb or beef
- A pinch of salt
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 tsp of ground cumin
- 1 tsp of ground allspice
- A pinch of cayenne pepper (I put a teaspoon, we like things spicy!)
- 1 cup of coarsely chopped coriander (or a generous squeeze of the paste)
- olive oil to fry
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 400g tin of crushed tomatoes for sauce
Firstly, mix together all the ingredients except the oil and the tomatoes.
Then roll the mixture into balls for frying. If you’re making them for a meal, you’ll get about 25. If you’re making them as a tapas dish, for cocktails, make them nice and small and you’ll get about 40.
Pan fry the balls until evenly browned. If you wish to add the tomatoes and make a sauce, add them (and the same spices as in the meatballs if you like), stir to coat and then simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes. Once the meatballs are cooked through, remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes to reduce the sauce.
If you’re making them without the sauce, just pop the lid on the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from the heat. If serving them for tapas, I would serve them with a simple yoghurt-based dipping sauce. Either way, these are a great alternative to the usual mince meat meals and very quick to whip up for a week-night dinner.