Lamb meatballs

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These flavoursome meatballs contain an exciting mixture of flavours and textures – sweet currants, creamy pie nuts and a harmonious blend of spices. Serve with lemon, a salad and some creamy yogurt.

Lamb mince is particularly good for meatballs, burgers and other patties. It’s popular in Middle Eastern recipes such as stuffed aubergine and koftas. Or use it in moussaka, shepherd’s pie or bolognese. Lamb works well with a range of flavours beyond the traditional mint sauce. Generally, the intense flavour of autumn lamb is a good match for equally strong seasonings and aromatics. Try rubbing it with spices such as cumin before roasting, or piercing the skin several times and inserting sprigs of rosemary and pieces of anchovy into it. Marinades also work wonders on lamb, helping enhance its flavour and making it meltingly tender.

Ingredients:

(for 6 serves)

250 g lean minced lamb

1 onion, finally chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

30 ml / 2 tbsp pine nuts

30 ml / 2 tbsp currants, soaked in warm water for 5 – 10 minutes and drained

2 slices of day-old white or brown bread, ground into crumbs

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 bunch each of fresh flat leaf parsley and dill

lemon fedges, to serve

10 – 15 ml ground cinnamon

5 ml Turkish red pepper or paprika

15 ml / 1 tbsp tomato ketchup

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

60 ml / 4 tbsp plain flour

sunflower oil, for shallow frying

Preparation:

In a bowl, pound the lamb minced meat with the onion, garlic and cinnamon. Knead with your hands and knock out the air, then add the pine nuts with the currant, red pepper or paprika, breadcrumbs, egg and ketchup. Season with salt and pepper.

Finely chop the herbs, reserving 1 – 2 springs of parsley for the garnish, and knead into the mixture, making sure all the ingredients are mixed well together.

Take apricot-size portions of the mixture in your hands and roll into balls. Flatten each ball so that it resembles a thick disc, then coat lightly in the flour.

Heat a thin layer of oil in a heavy pan. Add the meatballs and cook for 8 – 10 minutes, until browned on all sides.

Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot with lemon wedges and garnish with parsley and pine nuts.