I’m a little obsessed with pomegranate and mint at the moment. Whether it’s in a drink or in my grain salads I love it. This easy meatball recipe is finished with both and it brings such a welcome burst of freshness.
Serving the juicy meatballs on top of the yoghurt sauce looks beautiful at the table and it also means the flavours meld with each other and when you scoop up your serving you get a little of everything on your plate. I usually eat these with a quinoa tabouleh or a fresh green salad like this zucchini one. The herb laced meatballs and yoghurt sauce go really well with these.
They’re the perfect thing to add to a mezze spread too and you could easily serve them as a starter to share, or individually by placing a little yoghurt on the bottom of a small serving dish and topping with the meatball and a sprinkle of the mint and pomegranate. Hang on. Why didn’t I do that? I hate when a better serving idea comes to me as I’m writing the post rather than when I’m serving it… next time, there’s always next time. And look, these still look great al piled up like that… and it was EASY.
You can get lamb mince from your butcher and occasionally the supermarket. If you’re getting it from the butcher you could ask them to mince a leaner cut so that it’s less fatty. I actually mince it myself (thanks for the mincer mum!), this time I used boned leg, but trimmed the majority of the fat from it. Mincing yourself is a little more time consuming, but mostly due to cleaning the mincer, and I love that you actually know what goes into the mince you’re buying and can choose how fine or coarse the mince is. I don’t eat meat that often (one to three times a week usually) so when I do eat it I like to know exactly what I’m eating. There’s another word for this though, control freak perhaps?
Now let’s get to that delicious meatball recipe you landed here for!
Serves 4 (as a main dish, 6 or more as part of a mezze)
500g Lamb mince
1 tsp sumac
2 tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin
1 garlic clove
¼ cup parsley, tightly packed then finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped spring onions (not just sliced)
2 Tbs milk
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs Pomegranate syrup
1 tsp Kejap Manis
1 Tbs coriander seeds
½ cup white wine
¼ cup boiling water
1 cup strained or very thick greek yoghurt
½ cup tightly packed flat leave parsley
½ cup tightly packed mint
½ tsp sumac
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbs lemon juice
½ tsp salt
½ pomegranate, seeds removed
1/3 cup mint tightly packed
In a bowl, combine mince, sumac, paprika cayenne, cumin, garlic, parsley, spring onion, milk and salt. Mix well to combine and then shape into meatballs, just a little bigger than a walnut shell.
Heat a large frying pan on high heat. Toast coriander seeds for about a minute, or until fragrant. Remove. If you’re not using a non stick pan then lightly spray the pan with olive oil. Only a very light coating. Once hot fry the meatballs until golden on each side and cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.
Remove the meatballs from the pan and add the pomegranate syrup, kejap manis and wine. Cook down for a few minutes then add the water. Reduce by 1/3 until you have a thick glossy syrup. Add the cumin seeds and then turn off the heat. Add the meatballs back to the pan and toss in the sauce to coat.
Yoghurt sauce: Finely chop the parsley and mint, mix with the zest, lemon juice, yoghurt and spices. Season and taste.
To serve: Roll mint leaves into ‘cigars’ and then finely chop so you get fine threads. Spread yoghurt on the bottom of a plate, place a layer of meatballs, sprinkle with mint and pomegranate seeds, pile on more meatballs and sprinkle over more herbs and pomegranate seeds. Repeat until you have no more meatballs! Drizzle over any glaze that remains in the pan.
Serve with couscous and green beans on the side. Or a quinoa tabbouleh.