Try a Different Kind of Meatball

This recipe combines almost sweet-tasting lamb with fresh herbs and tops the finished product with a harissa-spiked tomato sauce. Serve over rice or in a pita for a protein-packed post-run meal.


Moroccan Meatballs

Recipe from Leon Ingredients & Recipes by Allegra McEvedy (Conran)

What you’ll need:

The Meatballs
1½ whole grain pitas (roughly 20cm in diameter)
½ cup milk (or water – they’ll be slightly softer if you use milk)
1kg ground lamb
a small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
a small handful of mint, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves of garlic, chopped

The Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 x 395g cans of diced tomatoes
1½ tablespoons harissa
a handful of basil, leaves picked and chopped
a handful of parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

How to make it

  1. Rip the flatbread into pieces and soak them in the milk for 10 minutes.
  2. Then put the bread into a mixing bowl, add the ground lamb, and stir in the parsley, mint, oregano, garlic and some seasoning.
  3. Mix well, then roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls.
  4. Either on a ridged grill pan (best) or under a very hot broiler, brown the balls quickly. It’s all about colouring them and not cooking them through, so 5 minutes total cooking time, turning each ball about three times.
  5. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet and gently fry the crushed garlic.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes and harissa. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced.
  7. Add the meatballs and continue to simmer, covered, for a further 20 minutes, or until the sauce looks about right.
  8. Lastly stir in the herbs and have a final seasoning check.
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