Saturday, November 13, 2010

Vaguely Ethnic Meatballs in Sauce

This is a good dish to make on a chilly Saturday afternoon when you've got nothing better to do than fiddle around in the kitchen. Not really from any particular regional cuisine, more of a "fusion" dish. The spice amounts are left intentionally blank - you can adjust as you like. I have to cook for a 5-year-old so I went lightly on the duqqa and berbere (both are hot) but if I had been just cooking for me & Stirling I would have added a lot more.


approx 1/2 lb ground lamb
1/4 lb or more liver (pork, beef or lamb)
1 egg
1/4 large onion, finely diced
1/4 green pepper, finely diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
duqqa spice
berbere spice

Tomato sauce
1/4 large onion
large can tomatoes
2-3 cloves garlic
medium fennel bulb
bay leaves
1/2 can coconut milk
lemon zest from 1 lemon
maple syrup

First, saute onion and green pepper and place it in a mixing bowl. Let cool slightly. Put the liver and the egg in the blender and whiz until fully blended. Combine with the remaining meatball ingredients, shape into small (less than 2" diameter) balls and cook in a non-stick frypan until thoroughly browned all over.

For the sauce, saute the onions and fennel until soft, then add tomatoes, garlic, lemon zest and cardamom. Cook until it's reduced a bit, then add the coconut milk and reduce further until it's a nice thick sauce. Add salt and maple syrup to taste - don't make it too sweet, just take the acid edge off.

If you have a slow cooker, dump everything in it, turn it on and leave it til dinnertime. If you don't have one, use a large saucepan, keep it on low, and stir frequently to prevent burning on the bottom.

Serve over rice, topped with diced mango and cilantro. Yum!