Thursday, January 6, 2011

Leon's Moroccan meatballs

Meatballs: the bloke pleasing food! Forgive my sweeping generalisation, but it seems to me that all men love meatballs. My husband is the perfect example; he is a meatball fiend. He could devour the whole platter of sauce-drenched meatballs as a meal--no side dishes required. (I prefer a few balls daintily arranged alongside fragrant green beans, spinach, and rice.)

Whether you like your meatballs as part of a balanced menu, or if you think dinner equals meatballs plus fork, you're bound to love the Leon restaurant version. It's easy to make at home and tastes stunning with lots of fresh herbs and a spicy tomato sauce. Loved by blokes (and ladies)!

Moroccan Meatballs
adapted from Leon: Ingredients and Recipes
serves 3

for the meatballs:
1 whole wheat flatbread or pitta bread
1/3 c (60 ml) milk
500 g minced beef or lamb
a handful of parsley, chopped
a handful of mint, chopped
1/2 t dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced

for the sauce:
1 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
800 g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 t chilli powder
a handful of basil leaves, chopped
a handful of parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

First, make the meatballs.
Rip the flatbread or pitta into small pieces and soak in a large mixing bowl with the milk for ten minutes.
Add the other ingredients for the meatballs. Mix with your hands and roll into walnut-sized balls.
Use a griddle pan or heavy frying pan or the grill and brown the meatballs very quickly. They only need to be coloured, not cooked through. Turn a few times during five minutes total cooking time.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the garlic for one minute.
Add the tomatoes and chilli powder and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has reduced.
Add the meatballs and simmer for 20 minutes longer with the lid on.
Finally, stir in the basil, parsley, and seasonings.


Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

They look wonderful! Meatballs are probably my ultimate comfort food, it's impossible not to feel happy eating a meatball. They do look very Leon authentic too.

PS Looking forward to seeing your Forever Nigella entry!

Sarah said...

Sarah, we ate meatballs again yesterday. With mashed potatoes my husband was in heaven. :) I'm glad he's so easy to please. He eats everything I make, thankfully.

My Nigella recipe is almost ready to go! I photographed it with my new macro lens; very exciting! Stay tuned.

Sarah @Scrumptious Sally said...

Fortuitously, I have all the ingredients for these (finally) in stock, so I am going to try making them this week. I've never tried these in Leon, as they have always been sold out!
Lovely photos.

Sarah said...

Oh, Sally, that is exciting! I hoe you enjoy them. The true Leon version uses lamb, but I don't always manage to get that. On the other hand, I always have some beef mince in the freezer. Let me know how it goes!

stephchows said...

mmmmm I can just smell how good these would be!

marv said...

great recipe

yes ... I can confirm that all men love meatballs! do 2 year old girls!

Sarah said...

Hi Marv, have you been eating meatballs with your family? I'd love to see some updates on your blog, hint, hint. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah, Naomi Lacey recommended your blog to me a couple of years ago and now this is one of my go-to recipes! I've not come across a better meatball recipe! I've just noticed that you live in Hong Kong - I moved here myself about 6 months ago!

Sarah said...

Oh, wow, Rachel, how wonderful. I'm glad you like it; thanks for telling me. Naomi is a dear friend.

Two Healthy Kitchens said...

This recipe sounds so delicious - just a little different but still comfort-food-delish! Regardless of what the guys think, though, I'm with you - just a few meatballs, nestled in amongst a plate filled with healthy, gorgeous veggies - YUM!

Sarah said...

Two Healthy Kitchens - I am in agreement there. I saw that you serve a "cheeseburger salad" - that is a brilliant way to take a delicious food, keep all the good parts (like the crispy lettuce, the beef, and the cheese!) and ditch the bun. Nice one.

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