Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Morrocan Beef Meatball Tagine

Setting: My kitchen
 Time of day: Late afternoon, roughly 4:45

Me: "I think meatloaf for dinner sounds good."

Me: "No, I don't want mashed potatoes (the only starch that can be served with meatloaf)"

Me: "I could make hamburgers."

Me: "No we're out of buns. And pickles. And tomatoes. And its raining."

Me: "I could make um...."

By this point I had defrosted almost 2 pounds of ground beef, no idea what I was going to do with it, and dinner was rapidly approaching. (And yes, I talk to myself. What? It's perfectly normal) I had to make something. So I Epicurioused (same concept as "googled") ground beef.

Me: "Nooooo... yes!" (victory dance ensues)

Success. Houston, we have dinner. It was quick, easy, and we had everything on hand. Exactly what I needed in the middle of the week. I have no idea how authentic they are, (I'm not an expert like someone I could mention) but they tasted really good. And we had leftovers which are now sitting in the freezer.

Moroccan Beef Meatball Tagine
Adapted from From Bon Apetit Magazine

If you have preserved lemons, now would be the time to use them. I served this with couscous and it was a hit. If you are short on time, the original recipe might be slightly faster as it does not call for browning the meatballs and has the oven at a higher temperature.

For meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (20% fat)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely grated onion
  • 1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)*
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups carrots (I used baby carrots cut in half)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 5-ounce package baby spinach leaves
  • Lemon wedges (for garnish)


  1. That looks delicious and hehe that's actually a very similar dilemma to what I'm currently experiencing! How funny! :P

  2. Deanna, I understand you recently encountered Harriet Ells and Evan Kleiman of KCRW's Good Food at the Food Blogger forum. I'd love to add you to the weekly email update list about the show. May I? If so, please shoot me an email addy for you c/o sarah.spitz@kcrw.org. Thanks!

  3. These remind me so much of the ones my mom made all the time. I love how yours turned out and those measuring spoons are super cute!