Leons Moroccan Meatballs
A funny story – my husband Alwyn heard about this London restaurant that won an award for the most innovative, newly opened restaurant in Europe. As we were planning a trip to London for Christmas 2009 he procured a copy of their recipe book (courtesy of Amazon UK) for my birthday (before the trip) and tried to book a belated birthday dinner (via fax). He never heard back about the reservation and I was ‘delighted’ to find out that Leon is innovative because it is a ‘fast food’ restaurant. However, they do create yummy food sourced from good producers and incredible and healthy ingredients (so I wont make a comment about cheap meals). We did get to sit down and enjoy a yummy meal at their Spitalfields restaurant and I am happy to say I have made good use of their cookbook which is also a great read. Here’s one of my family’s fave recipes (courtesy of The Guardian)
Handsome supper for six
1½ wholemeal flatbreads (the smaller size, roughly 20cm in diameter) or pitta
1kg minced lamb
A small bunch of parsley and mint, finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
30ml olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 x 800g tins of chopped tomatoes
1½ tbsp harissa
A handful of basil, leaves picked and chopped
A handful of parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
Rip the flatbread into pieces and soak in the milk for 10 minutes. Then put the bread into a mixing bowl, add the mince and stir in the parsley, mint, oregano, garlic and some seasoning. Mix well, then roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls (about 20g each). Either on a griddle pan (best) or under a very hot grill, brown the balls quickly – it’s all about colouring them and not cooking them through … five minutes total cooking time with about three turns on the griddle.
To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and gently fry the crushed garlic. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and harissa and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the sauce has reduced. Put in the meatballs and continue to simmer for a further 20 minutes with a lid on until the sauce looks about right.
Lastly, stir in the herbs and have a final seasoning check. Serve and eat!