Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Moroccan meatballs with couscous

I went to Marrakesh in May last year and loved it - the food, the riad's, lanterns and souk's. I've since tried to recreate some of the incredible food we had there. I've also noticed that Moroccan cuisine seems to be more popular in the UK now. We ate a lot of couscous and spiced grilled meat and harissa (a spicy flavoured chilli paste). One recipe I found was for Moroccan meatballs served with a herby couscous - I cooked it with my boyfriend for my parents on Saturday night.
Ingredients - serves 4/5
1 kg lean minced lamb
1 red onion, grated or finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 cm chunk ginger, grated or use a couple of tsp ground ginger
pinch dried chilli flakes
4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Olive oil flavoured with garlic
2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes (and swill half again in water)
200ml chicken stock 
coriander, chopped

To serve - 
400g couscous
500ml chicken stock/water
harissa paste
Pitta breads (I like the round little ones from Waitrose)

1. Put the lamb, onion, garlic and half the spices in a bowl and season well. Use your hands to mulch it all up and form small meatballs (we made 40)
2. Heat garlic oil in a large pan and add the meatballs in batches, frying until browned all over. Then scoop them out. Add the rest of the spices to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the tomatoes, stock and season. Simmer for 10 minutes then add the meatballs and cook for another 20 minutes.
3. Make the couscous by adding the stock, a couple of teaspoons of harissa paste before forking through. Leave to absorb the liquid.
4. Meanwhile, grill the pitta breads by sprinkling with water then placing under a hot grill for a couple of minutes. 
5. Add coriander to the meatballs and fork some through the couscous. Serve by pouring some meatballs and sauce over the couscous and mopping it up with the pittas. 
- My Dad likes it with a kick so added more harissa paste.

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