Middle Eastern Lamb Meatballs Middle Eastern Lamb Meatballs

Middle Eastern Lamb Meatballs

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Is there anything more versatile than the humble meatball? From spag bol to a winning side dish, meatball shakshuka to the perfect in-between snack, these guys have got you sorted. And these Middle Eastern Lamb Meatballs are a step above the rest, as deliciously flavoursome as they are easy to make. Let's get cookin'.

Preparation: 20 mins 
Cooking: 30 mins

Serves 4

For the meatballs

400g lean lamb mince

1 egg

½ small red onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground allspice

Salt and freshly milled pepper

100g baby spinach leaves

50g dried cranberries

50g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped

Small handful freshly chopped coriander, to garnish

For the rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

500g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into small cubes

1 onion, finely chopped

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 garlic clove, crushed

400g basmati rice

800ml hot chicken stock

  • For the rice, heat half the oil in a heavy based or earthenware pan and cook the squash, onion, cumin and garlic for 10 minutes. Stir in the rice and stock then bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and steam gently for 10-15 minutes until squash is cooked, the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and leave covered for 10 minutes.
  • For the meatballs, place lamb, egg, onion, spices, salt and pepper into a large bowl and mix well. Shape into 16 small meatballs.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a large non-stick pan and fry the meatballs for 10-15 minutes or until brown all over.
  • Stir the spinach leaves, cranberries and pistachio nuts into the rice. Position the meatballs evenly over the rice mixture.
  • Garnish with the coriander and serve immediately.

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