moroccan meatball tagine

prep time:  tbd
cook time:  35 minutes
servings:  6

meatball ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup coarsely grated onion
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 large egg - beaten
2 garlic cloves - minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

stew ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 1/2 cups hopped onions
4 garlic cloves - minced
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads - crumbled
2 cups beef froth
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
2 cups carrot slices - 1/2-inch thick
1/4 cup chopped cilantro + more for garnish
1 5-ounce package baby spinach leaves
lemon wedges

meatball steps:
1.line large rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap.  gently mix all ingredients into a large bowl.  using moistened hands, roll 2 tablespoons of meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and place on baking sheet.  repeat until all meat is rolled.

stew steps:
1.  heat oil in heavy large oven proof pot over medium heat.  add onions, saute about 15 minutes.  add garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, and saffron, stir 2 minutes.  add broth and tomatoes with juice.

2.  preheat oven to 350 degrees.  bring stew to a simmer.  stir in carrots.  carefully add meatballs to stew, gently press into liquid to submerge.  sprinkle 1/4 cup cilantro over.  cover pot, place in oven.  bake until meatballs are cooked through and carrots are tender, about 35 minutes. 

3.  sprinkle spinach over stew, being careful not break meatballs.  remove cinnamon sticks.  season tagine with salt and pepper to taste.  serve over couscous or rice.

- one perfect bite blog

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