Sunday 18 February 2018

Tagine of spicy kefta with lemon

Donal Skehan

For the kefta 450g beef or lamb, finely minced

1 onion, finely chopped or grated

Fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1-2 tsps ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp cayenne pepper

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper For the tagine 1 tbsp each olive oil and butter

1 onion, roughly chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, halved and crushed

Thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 red chilli, thinly sliced

2 tsps ground turmeric

Small bunch fresh coriander, chopped

Small bunch fresh mint, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1 lemon, cut into wedges, pips removed

Buttery couscous (see next recipe), tossed with finely chopped red chilli and fresh green herbs

Kefta tagines don't require long cooking times as the sauce is generally made first and the meatballs are poached in it. This popular recipe is light and lemony and delicious served with the buttery couscous an a leafy salad. Serves four to six.

1To make the kefta: Pound the minced meat with your knuckles in a bowl. Using your hands, lift it up and slap it back down into the bowl. Add the onion, parsley, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper, and season to taste with salt and black pepper.

2Using your hands, mix the ingredients together and knead well, pounding the mixture for a few minutes. Take pieces of the mixture and shape them into little walnut-sized balls, so that you end up with about 16 kefta. (These can be kept in the refrigerator for two to three days.)

3Heat the oil and butter in a tagine or heavy-based casserole. Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and sauté until they begin to brown. Add the turmeric and half the coriander and mint, and pour in 300ml water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

4Carefully place the kefta in the liquid, cover and poach for about 15 minutes, rolling them in the liquid from time to time so they are cooked well on all sides.

5Pour over the lemon juice, season the liquid with salt and tuck the lemon segments around the kefta. Poach for a further 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining coriander and mint and serve with the buttery couscous and a leafy salad.

Irish Independent

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