Meatballs with Spicy Sauce

This is a tasty dish, adapted from a North African recipe. Serve with boiled rice or mashed potatoes.

2 lb. shoulder of lamb, boned and minced

2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1 oz. butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 small potato, scrubbed and finely chopped

1-inch piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and very finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon hot chilli powder

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar g teaspoon ground saffron, soaked in

2 tablespoons hot water for minutes

6 fl. oz. water

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves

In a large mixing bowl, combine the lamb, half the onions, the parsley, thyme and

½ teaspoon of the salt. Using your hands, mix and knead the ingredients well. Shape the meat mixture into about

36 balls

1-inch in diameter.

In a large frying-pan, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the meatballs, a few at a time, and fry them, turning frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are well browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a plate. Keep them warm while you brown the remaining balls in the same way. Set aside.

In the same frying-pan, adding more oil and butter if necessary, fry the remaining onion and the potato, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown and the potato is almost tender.

Add the ginger and cook, stirring occa-sionally, for 3 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, pepper, sugar, chilli powder and the remaining salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the spices from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the vinegar, saffron mixture and the water. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.

Return the meatballs to the pan and stir carefully to coat them with the spices. Cover the pan and simmer the mixture for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are just pink in the centre when broken open.

Remove the pan from the heat. Place the meatballs and cooking juices on a heated serving dish, sprinkle over the chopped coriander leaves and serve immediately.

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