North African Meatballs

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full disclosure here.

    What in the world are North African Meatballs?  Up until three days ago I had absolutely no idea.  I saw a picture of them and they looked terrific and sounded delicious so I had a go at them.  The combination of ingredients that go in to the meatballs is very unique.  Don’t get me wrong, the ingredients are all common things that I had in the house but the combination of them together was unusual.

   When the meatballs started cooking my mouth immediately started watering.  The smell was amazing.  So good in fact that I ate three meatballs before they were finished cooking and before they were in the sauce.  The meatballs were so juicy and burst with flavors from cinnamon to lemon zest to cilantro. They are hard to describe so you’ll have to try them for yourself.

    The sauce is also a palate of herbs and flavors that combine into a tomato based sauce.  I served them over top of couscous but I think they would be wonderful over rice or pasta as well.  Both my husband and I loved this dish.  He even called me the next day at work to tell me how good the leftover meatballs were.  We can’t wait to have this meal again!

North African Meatballs  (adapted from See Aimee Cook)
For the sauce:
1 T. olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lemon, zested
2 T. tomato paste
1/2 c. white wine
1/4 c. chicken stock
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 t. brown sugar
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
Pinch of cinnamon
1 T. cilantro, chopped
1 T. heavy cream
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper

For the meatballs:
1 egg
2 T. tomato paste
3 T. cilantro, chopped
1 T. ginger, minced
1  t. cumin
pinch of cinnamon
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 c. breadcrumbs
1/2 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
2 T. olive oil
4 T. parsley, chopped

1.   In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add in the onion and garlic and saute for 3 minutes.

2.  Stir in the lemon zest and cook for an additional minute.  Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan.  Let the wine reduce for 2 minutes.

3.  Mix in the chicken stock, tomato paste, tomatoes, sugar, cinnamon, red pepper, black pepper, and salt.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.  Just before serving stir in the cilantro and cream.  Mix well.

4. To make the meatballs mix the tomato paste and egg together in a large bowl.  Add the cilantro, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. 

5.  Stir in the ground beef and breadcrumbs.  Gently mix until it is well combined.   Roll into 1 inch meatballs.  There should be about 30 meatballs. 

6.  Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add in the meatballs and brown on all sides.  Transfer the meatballs to the pan with the sauce.  Allow the meatballs to simmer in the sauce for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with the parsley and serve over rice, couscous, or pasta.

This post linked to: 
Mangia Monday, What Makes You Say Mmmm, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays ,

One Comment

  1. The flavours of N. African are stunning and the aroma is something amazing. It makes me happy that these cuisines are becoming more known about. I will definately be attempting something like this in the near future.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *