Humble mince, I can remember joking as a child that my Mum had one hundred and one ways of cooking mince but this certainly wasn’t one of them!
Loved by the boys the meatballs are sweetened with dates and the sauce tastes very mild. I serve these with Lebanese flatbreads and salad, as we all know, food tastes so much better when you eat with your hands!
I use fresh gluten free bread for my breadcrumbs and these meatballs freeze well too. Just brown them, place in freezer proof tray, and pour over the sauce. Cool and then freeze.
Makes 40 meatballs.
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves
80g breadcrumbs, gluten free if needed
100g pistachio kernals
5 teaspoons ground cumin
6 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
50g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
600g ground beef/ minced beef
350g Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
Using a processor, process the onion and garlic.
Add the dates, breadcrumbs, pistachios, cumin, ground coriander, fresh coriander, salt and pepper.
Pulse until the nuts are finely chopped.
Tip this paste into a bowl, add the egg and minced beef and using your hands mix really well.
At this stage you can leave the meat in the fridge for 4-12 hours to develop its flavour or carry on as below.
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade.
Heat a large non stick frying pan over a medium to high heat. You can add a little oil if you want but I tend to just use the dry pan.
Form the meat into small meatballs, you should get around 40.
Cook the meatballs in batches, just to seal the outside. Place the sealed meatballs in an oven proof dish and continue to cook the remaining balls.
Once all of the meatballs are sealed, spread them evenly in your oven proof dish.
In a jug, combine the yogurt, tahini, garlic, lemon zest, water and salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce over and around the meatballs.
Place the meatballs in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until they are just cooked through and the sauce has thickened.