Tag Archives: beef

Tagine of spicy meatballs and pomegranate

This is another warming winter Tagine and this time it is beef and little else but also very quick and easy when you have ran out of ideas and you need a hot mealĀ in 30 minutes! Some dishes carry a little dream after them and this one will transport you in whichever exotic oasis you choose to visit…

The pyramid shape is magic  for flavours

The pyramid shape is magic for flavours


Ingredients list: for 20 meatballs

  • Ground beef, 500g
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes – or 2 fresh ones in season!
  • Passata, 200ml
  • Half a jar of chickpeas
  • Seasoning: harissa, thyme, sage and hot paprika to taste
  • More seasoning: M’rouzia or Ras El Hanout, 1 Tbsp
  • Light olive oil, 1 Tbsp
  • Salt and pepper to finish
  • Chopped fresh parsley, one handful
  • Pomegranate seeds, a small handful

First mix the ground beef and the seasoning (harissa, thyme and sage or other flavours) and roll small ping-pong ball sized chunks into oiled hands.

Chop the onions, diced up, and fry them in a little oil (1 Tbsp). Do not let the olive oil smoke, keep the heat under control.

Fry the meat balls in the oil for a few seconds.

Add the chopped tomatoes, M’rouzia or other Tagine spices, some hot paprika and theĀ passata with a little water if needed.

Add the rinsed chickpeas – and frozen peas as well if you wish!

Only add salt towards the end as the stew will reduce and only very little salt will be needed, if any.

Cover and put on low heat for 30 minutes. If you can, use a pointy Tagine dish as the condensation of flavours is unmatchable by any other method.

Present with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and parsley. I love rich colour in food – it enhances the appetite.

Serve with steamed rice and vegetable or some couscous. Or just big slabs of flat bread to mop up the sauce…

A nomad's tent near Marrakech

A nomad’s tent near Marrakech

This tent is my dream place, and represents the best place ever to taste the sort of Tagines that I am raving about… This photo was taken at dusk, just before dinner was served. You are in an oasis, in the middle of the desert… I can just imagine I am back there as if lifted by a magic carpet and everything suddenly tastes so much better…


>Fun for kids, lamb and coke lollies with yogurt dip


Now, this book of Coca-cola recipes (Solar Editions) was given to me as a joke by sister in law Anne-Laure who is a great cook and shares my dislike of sodas!
But I found a great and fun recipe to use coca-cola in it and I can’t resist the urge to share it! After so many healthy and detoxifying recipes, here is one the doctor doesn’t recommend by it tastes great and is fun for the kids – plus the amount of sugar is minimal in fact.

Ingredients list:
Minced Lamb or beef 500g
Cubed bacon, 100g
Celery 1 stick
Garlic 3 cloves
Mint, 1 Tsp of freshly chopped
Yogurt 300g
Coca-cola 50 cl
Ground Cumin 3 tsp
Olive oil 3 Tbsp
Salt and pepper

Mix in a food processor 2 garlic cloves, bacon and celeri.
Add the mince, cumin, salt and pepper and chopp roughly- not too finely to keep a good texture.
Between your cupped hands (previously oiled), make some chunky “quenelles” or sausage shapes. Reserve in the fridge.
Mix the yogurt with the mint, add one garlic clove and a bit of oil. Serve in small glasses, ready to dip.

In a shallow pan, heat the oil and quickly fry the meat “quenelles” on all sides and reserve on absorbing paper. Pour the coke into the hot pan and let it bubble and reduce for a few seconds until you get a sirupy sauce with a nice caramelised nose!
Put the meat back in and coat them nicely on low heat. They need to be brown and coated in delicious glossy caramel.
Break some wooden chopsticks (from last night’s take away) and spear each “quenelle” with one of these so it looks like a lollipop ready to dip into the flavoured yogurt!

Watch the delight on your kids faces… This is quick and fun, both to prepare and to eat.

Nutrition notes: The current  Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition guidelines on red meat are to consume a maximum of 500g per week. There is a proven link between red meat/processed meat consumption and the risk of certain cancers (colon, breast and bowels). But in moderation, red meat is a great source of iron and important amino acids. This recipe serves 5 and represent 1/5 of the recommended allowance.