Kefta Tagine (meatball tagine aka Mkaouara)

This is another dish from when we visited Morocco that we just had to learn how to make. It is a bit different from a normal tagine as the meat is in small, but delicious little balls of ground beef or lamb, rather than chunks of meat. It is apparently a Moroccan comfort food dish with little meaty guys floating around in a tangy, aromatic sauce. At the very end eggs are cracked into the sauce and allowed to poach in the cooking liquid. Not only does it taste delicious it also looks impressive and and the dipping capabilities of the sauce are outstanding. Basically next time you eat, make sure this is it.

What you need:

For the Meaty Balls

  • 500g ground beef or lamb (or a combination if you are feeling saucy)
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 egg yolk to bind
  • ½ teaspoon of chilli powder
  • Small handful of parsley and coriander, finely chopped

For the Sauce

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3-5 garlic cloves
  • Teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 1 can of tinned tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon Ras-el-hanout
  • Teaspoon of paprika and cumin
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Parsley to garnish

 

Make the meatballs:

Grab your mince and put into a bowl with all of the other ingredients and mix well with you hands until you think you got everything mixed all good and proper, with everything making friends nicely.

Roll the mix into meatballs the size of cherry tomatoes to snooker balls. Once you have a nice plate full of balls add them to the fridge to get nice and firm.

In a large heavy bottomed pan add some olive oil and get up to a hot temperature. Now add in the meatballs and brown all over. Once you have a nice crisp edge to them all, take them out and put to one side. Don’t worry if some have disintegrated a little, the fallen little bros will just add to the flavour of the sauce.

Now time for the Saucy Business:

In the same pan as you cooked you balls throw in a sliced onion and a finely sliced garlic, sweat these guys down until they are all translucent and smelling badass. Add in the dried herbs and spices and coat all of the onions. Cook for a minute or two and add in the tinned tomatoes, the tomato puree and a small cup of water. Add in the meat balls that have been chilling out on a plate, as well as the bay leaf and some salt and pepper. Cook the mixture with the lid on, on a medium heat for about 30 minutes. You want the sauce to be nice and thick so give it a little taste with a spoon (or whatever other implement you want). The sauce should be deliciously rich, thick and full of flavour. If you find that you can’t stop eating the sauce then you know it is just about ready.

Now finally crack the eggs right into the sauce and let them cook. Once the egg whites have just cooked you are ready to serve. Finally sprinkle over a load of parsley and get ready for a flavour invasion right inside mouth HQ. Serve straight from the pot or plate it up if you think that’s too cool for school. Remember to grab some bread to mop up the sauce with.

 

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