Moroccan Beef Meatball Tagine

Meatballs:

  • 1 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 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh grated ginger

Stew:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 packet sazon
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch-thick carrot slices (cut on diagonal)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus additional for garnish
  • 1 5-ounce package baby spinach leaves

Meatballs:

Line large rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Gently mix all ingredients in large bowl. Using moistened hands and scant 2 tablespoonfuls for each, roll meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Arrange meatballs on sheet.

Stew:

Heat oil in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium heat. Add onions; sauté about 15 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, and saffron; stir 2 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes with juice, and raisins.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring stew to simmer. Stir in carrots. Carefully add meatballs to stew; gently press into liquid to submerge. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cilantro over. Cover pot; place in oven. Bake until meatballs are cooked through and carrots are tender, about 35 minutes. Sprinkle spinach over stew. Cover and bake until spinach wilts, about 5 minutes longer. Gently stir to mix in spinach, being careful not to break meatballs. Remove cinnamon sticks. Season tagine with salt and pepper. 

Serve with pita bread or couscous. 


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