Ever since I watched Rick Stein’s Mediterranean escape, I had wanted to try this dish so badly. So today I rolled up my sleeves and brought out the artillery. Apparently this recipe is very popular for tagine initiations. I don’t have a tagine so I had to resort to my trusty Pyrex. I wish I had a wider roasting dish though, then I could break more eggs on top. The main spices in this dish are cumin and paprika. I was apprehensive about the cumin at first because Rick Stein had said to go for it with lots of cumin. Cumin can be quite overpowering. But after doing a taste test, this spice really brought out the best of the beef.
While making this dish, I had a lot of things not going my way and the funny thing is, it hardly had anything to do with the dish. Making the meatballs was quite smooth sailing but everything else was crumbling. First, the sink was sky high with dirty dishes leaving me very little space to work. While heating up some porridge for my son, it somehow exploded in the microwave making a mess everywhere. When the meatballs were done, I painstakingly position my props for taking pictures outside, and then it started to drizzle. I had to move everything indoors and right at that moment, the sun came out. Ever had the feeling mother nature loves to toy with us? Well, this is one of those moments.
With all that transpired, I was pretty washed out by the time I sat down to eat. But you know what……somehow all that crap was worth it because this was DELICIOUS!!😆 If it had sucked, I think my day would be totally ruined but it turned out fantastically well and I was happy for the rest of the day…..that is until my son starts pulling the covers off the sofa and here we go again.
MOROCCAN SPICY MEATBALLS RECIPE
Adapted from Rick Stein’s Mediterranean Escape
300 gms lean ground beef
2 onions, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
A big handful of chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
Chilli flakes (optional)
A can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Roasted red peppers (optional)
Extra parsley for garnish
1. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs together. Do a taste test. Cook a thumb size portion of the beef. Eat and readjust seasoning if necessary. Shape them into ping-pong sized balls. You may go bigger if you’d like, but I prefer this size.
2. Sear and brown the meatballs in sunflower oil in a deep pan. Remove the meatballs and set them aside. Remove some of the oil until you have about 3 tablespoons left.
3. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Toss in the onions and garlic. Cook till they’re fragrant. Add your diced tomatoes, red peppers and tomato paste. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and cayenne. Let it simmer stirring occasionally.
4. If the sauce seems too thick, thin it with some water. Add your chopped parsley and stir. Return the meatballs and coat with the sauce. Taste and adjust.
5. Scoop your meatballs and sauce to a roasting dish. Make indentations randomly on top. Break the eggs on top and put it in the oven to bake till the eggs are just about set.
6. When it’s ready, garnish with more parsley on top and eat with bread or cous cous!