Tuesday, January 10, 2012

moroccan lamb meatballs with figs

2012: Year of the Balls. You heard me. Meatballs. They are getting trendy, and it's a trend I can get behind. Who doesn't like meatballs (or bean balls for vegetarians)? Easy to make, flavorful, endless possibilities, and FUN! Kelly sensed my ball obsession before I did, I think, because she got me a whole book of them for Christmas! While I am sad that this title is already taken, so I'll never be able to write my own book called "Balls!", there are some delightful recipes in Murrills' book.

This Moroccan Lamb Meatball recipe was perfect for winter... root veggies, rich spices, sweet figs. I would definitely chop up the figs next time, though...they were a little overwhelming whole.

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs with Root Vegetables and Figs

-1 lb. ground lamb seasoned with 1/2 tsp. each of ground coriander and cumin, cayenne pepper to taste, salt & pepper.
-approx. 1/2 cup flour
-1 Tablespoon olive oil
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-1.5 teaspoon smoked paprika
-1.5 teaspoon dried thyme
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon coriander
-4 cups cubed root vegetables (I used 2 turnips, 4 parsnips, 6 carrots)
-1 medium onion, chopped
-3 cups chicken stock
-1/2 cup red wine
-8 oz. pkg. dried figs, stems chopped off, big ones halved
-1 can diced tomatoes
-handful of cilantro, chopped
-lemon zest, Greek yogurt & fig balsamic vinegar for garnish (optional)

Form the lamb mixture into 1" balls and lightly dredge them in the flour. Heat the Oil in a large skillet or dutch oven and cook the meatballs until well browned and cooked through. Remove and set aside.

Add the garlic and spices to the pan and cook until fragrant. Add the vegetables and onion and cook until they all start to soften and brown, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and the wine and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes and figs, lower the heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Add meatballs and let cook another 10-15 minutes. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve on Couscous with Greek yogurt, lemon zest and fig balsamic vinegar. Balls!

Related recipes from the archives:

Cashew Chicken balls
sausage and mushrooms
Pioneer Woman's Comfort Balls
Turkey Kefta
Masterpiece meatballs

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