Moroccan is one of those cuisines that when I cook or eat it I find myself saying, “we really need to have this more often”. I am a massive fan of dishes with walls of spice and citrus slapping me in the face. The Tagine Kefta ‘Mchermel hits the spot with the absolutely glorious sauce in which the meatballs are cooked. Bold spices such as cumin, turmeric and paprika are a perfect medley with the fresh herbs, lemon and chilli. If you can get your hands on some preserved lemon (making your own is time consuming, however quite easy), I highly recommend adding it to the dish before serving.
The recipe I made was slightly adapted from this cookbook full of many Moroccan delights…
Tagine Kefta ‘Mchermel (Meatballs with Herbs & Lemon)
- 1/2 brown onion, chopped
- 2 tblsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 slices bread, crusts removed (I used a standard sliced grain loaf)
- 1 egg
- 500g lamb mince (use beef as an alternative if you wish)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
In a food processor, finely chop the onion and parsley. Tear the bread into pieces and add to the food processor along with the egg and combine slightly. In a bowl knead together the meat, cumin, paprika, black pepper, salt and bread mixture. With wet hands, make balls that are about walnut sized. Place in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
- 1 tblsp butter
- 1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 375ml chicken stock or water
- 2 tblsp chopped coriander leaves
- 2 tblsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tblsp lemon juice
- 1/2 preserved lemon, sliced into strips (rinsed well with pulp and and membrane removed)
Heat the butter in a wide saucepan with a dash of oil to avoid it from burning. Add the onion and cook on low heat for a about 8 mins, or until soft. Add the spices and cook, stirring, for 1 min. Then add the stock and coriander and bring to the boil. Time to add the meatballs gently into the sauce, ensuring that they all settle into the sauce. Cover and simmer for 45 mins. Add most of the parsley, all of the lemon juice and season if necessary. Simmer for another 2 mins. Add the sliced preserved lemon to the meatballs, stir, transfer to a tagine or bowl to serve and sprinkle with remaining parsley. Delicious! Serves 4 Food Lovers.
We had this dish with some saffron brown rice I put together in a standard rice cooker (about 1/4 tsp saffron to 1 cup of rice), and a couple of margaritas because why not.