Hello again! I've missed you! Have you missed me? Probably not. But muahaha I'm back! Well, if you've been following my Twitter and/or Instagram feeds you will know that the Mr. and I have moved to York. With one thing and another we've only just really settled in our new home.
Moving is hard work. I mean, I know I moved almost a year ago out of the Bellesini Community but I was literally moving round the corner. Moving into a new, unfurnished home in a different city is A LOT more stressful. You've probably done it before so you know what I'm talking about. I mean, for the first week we didn't have a bed or a sofa. Nope. Nothing comfy. Well, technically that's not true because we did have a mattress. Now, a month later, we have a practically fully kitted out living room and bedroom. Woohoo! And did I mention we have wifi?
What about the kitchen, I hear you ask? Well, the kitchen is much bigger than our London shelf. Mind you, think about one of the most popular New York bloggers and tell me her kitchen wasn't as small, if not smaller, than what we used to have. Deb Perelman, I'm talking about you.
Our new kitchen is great. It has counter space, it has cupboards, it has hobs and an oven, it is a kitchen. What I love about it? It is white and I can literally spend all day in it - in fact one day I did. We've been living here a month so obviously I have been cooking and snapping as I go. I have this problem where I can't keep my pictures to myself so I've been sharing pictures of my food on social media with no way to post recipes. Shame on me.
This first recipe is my first one for two reasons:
1) It's cold out and we need to eat food that is warming
2) Someone asked me for it
You don't need a tagine for this recipe. You can use a heavy based saucepan instead if you like.
500g lean beef mince
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
Medium bunch chopped parsley
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 preserved limes
1 red onion, diced
Chopped coriander to serve
Mix together the mince, salt, pepper, parsley and egg in a bowl. Use your hands, it's the only way to get it all mixed in properly. This is a glorious meatball mixture and when it's done it should be soft and putty-like. Shape the meat into balls about the diameter of a 50p coin.
If you are using a tagine, don't forget to coat the outside of it with water. Place your tagine or pot on a medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the meatballs carefully, turn the heat down if it's too fierce, and brown the meatballs on all sides. When completely brown, put them on a separate plate. Preheat an oven to 180 degrees C if you are using a tagine.
Next, to the oil and meat juices that are still in the pot, add the onion and garlic and fry them off a little. It's ok if it's all still a bit chunky and not totally soft, it depends on your own preference for texture. I like it chunky. Add all the powdered spices and the limes and mix, then add the tin of tomatoes and mix everything so that it's all well combine. You'll have quite a think mixture at this point so fill the tomato tim with water and pour half of it into the pot, keeping the other half on hand. Add the meatballs, stir a little and either simmer on the hob for 2 hours (pot) or put in the oven for two hours (tagine).
Keep checking the tagine every half hour. Make sure it's not sticking to the bottom and if it's getting too thick, drizzle in a little of the water from the tin of tomatoes.
Serve with couscous, rice or hearty Middle Eastern bread. I served mine with parathas mad from the Yummyyyyy blog.