“What do you want for dinner, John?”
“Oh, I don’t mind, anything will be fine.”
“How about lamb meatballs over couscous.”
“Uhhh, do we have to?”
“You don’t have to eat it but I’m making it for me.”
“Okay, that’s fine, I’ll eat it. I’m not fond of meatballs OR couscous.”
Wouldn’t that reaction get you racing to the kitchen? I just knew these lamb meatballs were going to be good and they were the bomb. Seriously. He cleaned his plate and said, “You know, that couscous was pretty good too.”
Sometimes you just want to give ’em a whack.
The only trick with meatballs is not overcooking them to the point where they’re like golf balls since they don’t sit in a puddle of sauce. I’d make these again in a heartbeat.
I made the couscous by putting dried fruit in chicken stock and bringing it to the boil and then pouring it over the couscous. I found that if I used a shallow dish or pan to make couscous, it turns out really fluffy. I used to make it in a large measuring cup and it often ended up gluggy and gross.
The verdict? He doesn’t hate meatballs or couscous, in fact, he quite likes them when they’re done like this.
- 2 slices white bread, crusts trimmed
- Milk, for soaking
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley (divided in two)
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 3 tablespoons grated onion
- 2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced, plus 2 tsp zest
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- Salt and pepper
- 1½ teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup sultanas or raisins
- ¼ cup Turkish apricots, chopped
- ¼ cup dates, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- olive oil
- ½ cup tzatziki sauce (picked mine up at the deli)
- Preheat the oven to 210C/425F.
- Soak the bread in the milk.
- Add the lamb and the egg to a large mixing bowl.
- Wring out the excess milk from the soaked bread and crumble it into the lamb.
- Stir in half the parsley, the mint, onion, garlic, lemon zest, marjoram, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and mix together.
- Using an ice cream scoop, make about 20 meatballs (my scoop turned out 17) and place on a nonstick or parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake until browned, 15 to 18 minutes.
- In a small saucepan add the chicken stock and the dried fruit and bring to the boil add salt.
- In a low casserole dish spread out the couscous and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.
- When the stock and fruit have just come to a boil, pour over couscous.
- Stir well to incorporate the fruit and cover the disk with cling film/plastic wrap.
- In 3-5 minutes, fluff with a fork.
- Place couscous on a platter and place meatballs on top.
- Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.