Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Middle Eastern Beef Meatballs

I love Middle Eastern food and really don't eat that much of it.  I love the simplicity, the use of different spices and its, at times, unusuallness of their dishes.  Not to mention the smells that waffled from the kitchen when cooking.... cinnamon, cumin, harissa all combined filling the air with comfort.

These meatballs, small in size, were all of the above.... plus not mention easy to make.  Cooked in a sauce packed with vegetables with a hint of spice they really pleased the Murray household.

Middle Eastern Beef Meatballs
(recipe sourced from WW The Complete Meal Cookbook)

Serves: 4
ProPoints per Serve: 11

cooking spray
2 brown onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500 grams lean beef mince
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons harissa powder (or 1 1/2 tablespoons harissa paste)
400 gram can chopped tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
2 carrots, grated
2 zucchini, grated
1/2 cup tabouli
2 cups baby rocket leaves
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup low fat Greek style natural yoghurt
2 x 80 gram rounds wholemeal Lebanese bread, torn

Lightly spray a medium non-stick frying pan with oil and heat over medium high heat.  Add half the onion and half the garlic and cook, stirring, for 3 - 4 minutes or until onion has softened.  Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.

Place mince, onion mixture, cumin, cinnamon, allspice and parsley in a bowl.  Mix to combine.  Roll tablespoons of mixture into meatballs.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add remaining onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion has softened.  Stir in harissa, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil.  Boil for 2 minutes.

Add carrot, zucchini and meatballs.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 - 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through and sauce has thickened.

Place tabouli and rocket in a large bowl and toss to combine.  Divide meatball mixture among plates and top with pine nuts and yoghurt.  Serve with tabouli salad and bread.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

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