Zorba’s Meatballs

A subtle blend of lamb, beef, garlic and spices with a creamy Mozzarella cheese filling makes Zorba’s Meatballs a dish with a difference. Serve with boiled rice and a crisp green salad.

1 lb. lean lamb, minced

1 lb. lean beef, minced

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

4 slices white bread, soaked in cold water and squeezed dry

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon ground coriander

8 oz. Mozzarella cheese, cut into

1-inch cubes

2 fl. oz. olive oil

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

14 oz. canned peeled tomatoes

3 tablespoons tomato puree

2 fl. oz. water

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint or

1½ teaspoons dried mint

First prepare the sauce. In a large flame-proof casserole, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and fry, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the tomatoes with the can juice, tomato puree, water, salt, sugar, pepper and mint. Increase the heat to high and bring the contents of the casserole to the boil.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the lamb, beef, onion, garlic, bread, eggs, salt, sugar, pepper and coriander.

Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients together until they are thoroughly combined. Spoon

2 table-spoons of the mixture into the palm of your hand and pat it fairly flat. Place a cube of cheese in the centre of the meat mixture and fold the mixture around the cheese, to form a ball about the size of an egg. Set aside. Repeat this process until all the meat mixture and cheese are used up.

In a large frying-pan, heat half of the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs, a few at a time, and fry, turning frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes or until they are golden brown all over. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a plate. Continue frying the remaining meatballs in the same way, adding more oil when necessary, until all the meatballs are browned.

Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked. Remove the casserole from the heat and serve immediately, straight from the casserole.

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