Merguez meatballs – makes around 16 walnut-sized meatballs
250g organic minced lamb
50g organic minced beef
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
1 dessert spoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
For the merguez spice mix:
Dry fry the cumin, fennel and coriander seeds for a minute or so, until they become fragrant.
Tip into a mini herb blender (or pestle and mortar) and blend/pound to a fine consistency.
Add the paprika, cayenne, pepper and salt.
Put the lamb and beef in a mixing bowl along with the merguez spice, minced garlic, chopped parsley and coriander, and mix well.
Test the seasoning of the meat mix by frying half a teaspoon of the mixture in oil. Adjust the seasoning, as required. At this stage, along with any extra, salt, paprika, cayenne you might like to add to suit your palate, you can use ready-ground cumin/coriander rather than prepare more toasted seeds.
Once you are happy with the flavour, shape the mixture into walnut-size balls and put in the freezer for 30 minutes (or refrigerate for an hour) before cooking – this stage is optional but does help the meatballs to retain their shape when fried.
Remove the meatballs from the freezer/fridge and shallow fry in olive oil, until cooked through. Shaking the pan, to ‘roll’ the meatballs, will help them keep their sphere shape.
Enjoy these meatballs:
Braised in a butter bean, garlic, saffron, red pepper and spinach soup drizzled with harissa oil
Slow-cooked in a tomato, paprika and roasted red pepper sauce
With homemade flatbreads, Moroccan yoghurt, cucumber and lemon dip, broad bean, tahini, garlic and coriander dip or spiced carrot puree