Thursday, 5 January 2012

Lamb, mint & almond meatballs

   500g Lamb mince, mint, 6 tbsp toasted ground almonds, 1/2 small white onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp cumin, coriander seeds
Makes: 16 meatballs Preparation: 20 minutes

Put out of your mind the sweet perfumed taste of almond and think of the seductive, exotic spices of Moroccan cooking. Lamb and almond is a classic combination and these fragrant meatballs are absolutely wonderfull.

1) Toast the almond slivers and coriander seeds in a dry pan until they are lightly golden, ensuring you shake the pan regularly to ensure they're evenly cooked. The seeds will begin to pop when they're ready, about the same time as the almonds. Grind in a mortar and pestle until they resemble fine crumbs.

2) Peel and dice the onion, then add half of it to a blender, along with 2 cloves of minced garlic, salt, pepper and the chopped mint. Blitz for a few seconds and then add the minced lamb, cumin, coriander seeds and almonds.

3) Pulse thoroughly until the meat has combined to form a ball, then remove from the blender, divide into 16 and roll in the palm of your hand to form small meatballs.

4) To cook the meatballs, add a little drizzle olive oil into a pan and add the meatballs, shaking the pan regularly to ensure they roll around and become evenly coloured. It should take no more than 5 minutes to cook them.

I served these in just a little tomato and red wine sauce with a little extra chopped mint - coated in the sauce they make a fantastic filling for pitta bread!

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