Spicy meatballs with coriander and sour cherries

Spicy meatballs with coriander and sour cherries

By
From
A Year In My Kitchen
Serves
4-6

Meatballs are one of those crowd-pleasing, homely dishes.Warm and nurturing, to me they are real comfort food. I often serve these spicy meatballs with a purée of sweet potato, but they are equally good with steaming soft, buttery polenta… perhaps even better! You will need a generous bunch of coriander – the stems and roots for the meatballs and sauce, some of the leaves for garnishing.

Meatballs

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
400g minced pork
200g minced beef
75g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon see method for ingredients
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander stems and roots
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 lemon, grated zest
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander stems and roots
2 medium red chillies, finely sliced
4cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon see method for ingredients
1 lime, juiced
2 x 400g cans good quality chopped tomatoes
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons tamari
75g dried sour cherries

To finish

Quantity Ingredient
small handful coriander leaves

Method

  1. To prepare the meatballs, put the pork and beef mince into a large bowl and add the breadcrumbs, spice mix, coriander, chilli, garlic and lemon zest. Mix together really well, using your hands, until evenly blended, seasoning with a good pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper. Form the mixture into small balls, about 4cm in diameter.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a wide, deep sauté pan, then add the meatballs in a single layer (cooking them in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan). Turn the heat down slightly and fry until the meatballs are nicely browned underneath, then turn and continue to fry until they are well browned on all sides. When the meatballs are evenly coloured, remove and drain on kitchen paper.
  3. To make the sauce, pour off any excess fat from the pan and add the onions. Sweat gently over a low heat for 5 minutes or so until they are translucent, then add the coriander stems and roots, chillies, ginger and spice mix. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the lime juice, followed by the chopped tomatoes, garlic and a good pinch of salt.
  4. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time, until you have a rich, homogenised sauce. Now, add the maple syrup, tamari and sour cherries and turn the heat up for a moment or two – to allow the flavours to get to know each other.
  5. Add the meatballs to the sauce, lower the heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes until they are cooked through. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon to a warm serving dish and keep warm while you make any final adjustments to the sauce.
  6. Taste and assess what is needed… perhaps a little more tamari or maple syrup, or a squeeze of lime juice. What you are looking for is a richly flavoured, distinctly Middle-eastern flavour… warm, spicy, a little sweet, salty and sour all at the same time. When you achieve the right balance, pour the sauce over the meatballs and serve, scattered with roughly torn coriander leaves.
Tags:
seasonal
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