Lamb and Beef meatballs with tahini and garlic…

Beef and Lamb meatballs

My pores weeped Allium Sativum for 24 hours, I became lonely.  Seventeen cloves of garlic later, not even my daughter would kiss me good night. While the meatballs themselves were not to blame the combination of amazing flavours culminated in a shit load of garlic. All four of us on this MCC agreed that garlic is good… Really good.. There’s no shame in the love of garlic, and we set the inner garlic free. Luckily none of us are that sociable, even at the best of times. Tonight we made a simple (much simpler than the ingredients will lead you to believe) table of lamb and beef meatballs in a tahini sauce with a tomato and onion salad, humus and pita bread. It was one of my favourite MCC’s ever, only bettered by having a helping of the MCC Harissa we made a while ago. I’ll lay out the recipe for the meatballs here and save the humus and salad for another post… The humus is where most of the garlic went… It was dangerous and most definitely not to all tastes, we on the other hand loved it. Ooohing and ahhhing as we ate it.

The lonely meatball
The lonely meatball

These meatballs are delicious. I’ve got to be honest and say that the Tahini sauce is a little weird but once you combine a few meatballs, a little salad and a large dollop of humus inside a pita, it all makes sense. Amazing.

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 35g stale white bread (we luckily had a bag of breadcrumbs available. As you do.)
  • 400g minced beef
  • 350g lamb
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 35g of flat leaf parsley
  • good pinch of salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1 free range egg
  • light olive oil for frying
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley to garnish
  • grated zest of 1/2 lemon to garnish
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

The Tahini Sauce

  • 150 ml tahini paste
  • 150 ml of water
  • 70 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • pinch of salt

Method

First things first, the tahini sauce. Splat your garlic clove with the side of your knife and then finely chop. Sprinkle crunchy salt on top and then make the garlic into a paste by working the salt into it.

Pasting garlic
Pasting garlic

Now add the tahini, water, vinegar, garlic and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Get yer whisk out and whisk the mixture until smooth. It should be kind of creamy.

Tahini sauce mix
Tahini sauce mix

Next up the meatballs themselves… Get the oven running at 200° and while it’s heating up, soak the bread in water for a few minutes. Remove the bread, squeeze out most of the water and add to a large bowl. Now get the rest of your ingredients and add to the bowl and mix well with your hands. It’s more of a fold than a mix as you want the meat to not become too mushy.

Lamb and beef meatball mix
Lamb and beef meatball mix

Make the mix in to small golf ball sized balls and set aside for shallow frying. Use the light oil and brown the meatballs on a quite high heat. About 2 minutes should do it. Even though they’re not cooked all the way through we couldn’t resist trying one…  Once done set aside on kitchen roll to absorb any juices and oil. Arrange the meatballs on a baking tray and put in the oven for 5 minutes, add the tahini sauce evenly over all the meatballs and put back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

Lamb and beef meatballs in oven tray
Lamb and beef meatballs in oven tray

That’s it we’re done. Really easy to make, amazingly tasty and with the rest of the meal was greater than the sum of its parts.

Pita of 17 cloves
Pita of 17 cloves

 

Wild Garlic Burgers

Gee went to Brighton for the night for her best friends birthday, so the kids and I thought that we’d cook. Cool. I thought about an amazing lamb dish I saw on the F Word the other night, but thought better of it. It might work, it might not and the kids get nothing to do.

Max Picking GarlicSo we decided on burgers, big fat ones. Whenever I’ve made burgers in the past they’ve always fallen apart, but now, aha, I have found the secret…

So, we went for a walk in the rain, picked some wild garlic, got soaking wet, came home, dried off and got on.

The kids love this stuff, getting mucky, wet, picking some stuff to eat, although they ate all their leaves before we got back…

Anyway ere we go, easy peasy lemon squeazy.

  • Minced beef, not too lean.
  • Handful of wild garlic (finely chopped bulb garlic will do)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • An egg

harvey01.jpgThe trick I’ve found with burgers is – do not mix in a bowl. I’m not sure why, but they seem to stay together better, and it’s more fun.

So get the mince out and put on a larger chopping board and flatten out with your hands, fold it over and flatten again, do this for a few minutes.

Next, break the egg over the flattened mince, wishing that your chopping board had a gutter (you’ll see what I mean), you then fold the egg into the meat. When you have kids; the more mess the better!

The egg should be thoroughly folded in and the meat kind of sticky, add some black pepper, a pinch of salt.

Make some patties, we made big fat ones, Harvey’s got tiny hands but still managed to make the biggest. Just make big meat balls, if you want to add something to flavour, this is the time. I ripped up some of the wild garlic and folded it in with the meat and then reformed as a ball, Max added some Nando’s Piri Piri sauce (he likes it hot). If you must add onions (why?) cook them first and chop really fine. Really you should add afterwards in your bun…

Patties of loveCook under a hot grill for 7-10 minutes each side (depends if you like it rare or not).

Serve with a bap (I love baps) some salad, some fat crispy chips, a sliver of cheese and sauces of your choice.

A top tip for slicing the cheese (I know most of you know this; I’m new you know), use your potato peeler, revelation, after nearly chopping off my fingers.

burger done.These burgers are great, but I have to say the star of this show were the chips, I’ve never made chips before and these far exceeded my expectations, and the kids. lol.