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5 mins
Meatball Tagine with Lemon & Olives Recipe

Meatball Tagine with Lemon & Olives

Rating 4-0 out of 5 - Most cooks definitely will make this recipe again
An Unusual Recipe

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Meatball Tagine with Lemon & Olives is a beautifully rich dish with spiced lamb meatballs, offset with the fresh taste of lemon. A perfect dish for a cold winter evening or, if you have a tagine pot (with the tall chimney) as an impressively simple dish when you are entertaining friends.

Typically, a tagine is a rich stew of meat, which can include beef, chicken, fish, or lamb, and most often also includes vegetables or fruit. A tagine is a dish that is easiest made when you do all your preparation beforehand. (In fact this is true of most cooking, but particularly so when there are lots of ingredients).

      Preparation Time: 25 Minutes

      Cooking Time: 40 Minutes

Ingredients for Meatball Tagine with Lemon & Olives

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
to serve 4:
3 medium
1lb 2oz
lean minced (ground) lamb
1 teaspoon
ground cumin
1 teaspoon
ground cinnamon
cayenne pepper
  small bunch
flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons
olive oil
thumb-sized piece
fresh ginger
red chilli
saffron strands
8½ fl oz
lamb stock
1 tablespoon
tomato purée (concentrated tomato paste)
4 oz
pitted black kalamata olives
  small bunch
fresh coriander


How to Cook Meatball Tagine with Lemon & Olives

  1. Peel the onions, chop thrm roughly, place them in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Zest one of the lemons and squeeze the juice (you need both). Chop the parsley, peel and grate the ginger, deseeded and finely chop the chilli and chop the coriander.
  2. Put the minced (ground) lamb, lemon zest, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, parsley and half the onions in a large bowl, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Using your hands, mix until everything is well combined, then shape into walnut-sized balls.
  3. Heat the oil in a large flameproof dish, or flameproof tagine with a lid, then add the remaining onions, grated ginger, chilli and saffron. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the onion is softened and starting to colour. Add the lemon juice, lamb stock, tomato purée and olives, then bring to the boil. Add the meatballs, one at a time, then reduce the heat, cover with the lid and cook for 20 minutes at a gentle simmer, turning the meatballs a couple of times to ensure they are evenly cooked.
  4. Remove lid, cut the second lemon into quarters and add the lemon wedges and the fresh coriander, tucking them in between the meatballs. Cook, uncovered, for a further 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly. Serve hot with couscous or fresh crusty bread.

The lemon wedges at the end can be optional. Best taste the tagine first because some people will find it "lemony" enough without adding the wedges.
GRAHAM'S WINE RECOMMENDATION: GrahamThe lemon in this recipe may well strip out any citrussy flavours in a white wine, so best to go for a light read like a Spanish Rioja or a southern French rosé such as the Costières de Nimes.
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Reviews of Meatball Tagine with Lemon & Olives

Rating 4 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again May 13 2014
I have made these 3 times now and they have amazing flavor and went down really well with all the family. I have also passed this recipe to my friends who loved it too. I have also made the meatballs in the morning and placed them on a plate covered in the fridge ready to cook later which speeds up dinner time. I left out the olives as most of the family don't like them. So full of flavor and smell delicious when cooking. A winner every time
(1 review)

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