Moroccan meatball tagine with lemon & olives

Moroccan meatball tagine with lemon & olives

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(49 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 40 mins

Easy

Serves 4
A wonderfully aromatic North African lamb casserole with a citrus tang - great for dinner parties

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal394
  • fat26g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs11g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre3g
  • protein31g
  • salt1.7g
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Ingredients

  • 3 onion, peeled

    Onion

    un-yun

    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 500g minced lamb
  • zest and juice 1 unwaxed lemon, quartered
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and grated

    Ginger

    jin-jer

    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • pinch saffron strands

    Saffron

    sah-fron

    The stigma of a type of crocus, saffron threads have a pungent and distinctive aroma and flavour…

  • 250ml lamb stock

    Lamb

    laam

    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100g pitted black kalamata olive
  • small bunch coriander, chopped
  • couscous or fresh crusty bread, to serve

    Couscous

    koos-koos

    Consisting of many tiny granules made from steamed and dried durum wheat, couscous has become a…

Method

  1. Put the onions in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Put the lamb, lemon zest, spices, parsley and half the onions in a large bowl, and season. Using your hands, mix until well combined, then shape into walnut-sized balls.

  2. Heat the oil in a large flameproof dish, or tagine with a lid, then add the remaining onions, ginger, chilli and saffron. Cook for 5 mins until the onion is softened and starting to colour. Add the lemon juice, stock, tomato purée and olives, then bring to the boil. Add the meatballs, one at a time, then reduce the heat, cover with the lid and cook for 20 mins, turning the meatballs a couple of times.

  3. Remove lid, then add the coriander and lemon wedges, tucking them in between the meatballs. Cook, uncovered, for a further 10 mins until the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly. Serve hot with couscous or fresh crusty bread.

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Comments (45)

SammySeabass's picture
5

This is incredibly delicious. Like many others, I didn't include the lemon wedges and cooked it for slightly longer. I added a bit more cayenne too. A truly delicious combination of flavours. Fantastic served with rice and tzatziki.

slugforabutt's picture
3.75

A little too much lemon for me and my wife. But all the other flavours are excellent.
I have never tried Moroccan food before, but my wife has slummed it in the non touristy bits of Morocco and reckons this is pretty good.
The recipe is utterly vague about the lemon, but please people use the lemon rind, juice and wedges OF THE SAME LEMON.
Put the squeezed wedges in the dish, DO NOT use another lemon or it will be too much.
Lemon madness aside, this was absolutely delicious.

Pridotcom's picture
5

Divine! This is a regular meal in our household. We double the spices, reduce the lemon juice and add a little more stock for a saucier dish. Perfect with couscous and topped with toasted pine nuts. Enjoy!

Lauren.Cini's picture
5

I have made this a few times and it always turns out delicious! Very warming and different. I serve with cous cous mixed with pomegranate, fresh coriander, lemon juice and olive oil.

Mwwardy's picture

Really looking forward to this, big mistake. The whole meal just tasted of lemons. I'd have fried the meatballs first and do not add the other lemons. Just not nice.

sarahjo33's picture
5

I have made these 3 times now and they have amazing flavor and went down really well with all the family. I have also passed this recipe to my friends who loved it too.
I have also made the meatballs in the morning and placed them on a plate covered in the fridge ready to cook later which speeds up dinner time. I left out the olives as most of the family don't like them.
So full of flavor and smell delicious when cooking. A winner every time

jule955's picture
5

Delicious! Don't forget to add the lemon wedges, they really give the sauce a lovely flavour (I'll try to make more sauce next time). Didn't have any problem with timing, they were cooked on time.

linda_firth's picture
5

Have just made and yummed this up. What a flavoursome dish. We wanted it so be saucier, but can adjust that easily to personal taste next time. There will be a next time. It does need the lemon wedges. The meatballs are full of flavour - in fact, the nicest we have ever tasted. Once the ingredients are assembled and prepared it's quite quick to do. I did cook for 10 mins longer than suggested, and glad I did. I often find that cooking times for mince are too short for my taste.

chrissouthville's picture
5

Fabulous - went down a treat. The recipe does suggest "adding the lemon wedges", although once you've used the zest in the meatballs and the juice in the sauce, I'm not sure where the wedges are supposed to come from! As the lamb was to be minced and cooked for a while, I got a nice cut of older lamb from my butcher that had more flavour.

kapatu's picture
5

Everyone at my dinner table loved this dish! The lemon makes it and the meatballs are full of flavor. On top of all that, it is a light dinner so perfection is near...!

Kamillanlarsen's picture

This tasted great. I made it with minced beef instead of lamb and it was really good.

helers's picture

I thought this was delicious and felt it needed the lemon wedges. The only change I made was I added garlic (we are big garlic lovers), a second chilli and increased the stock a little. Served it with Israeli Couscous flavoured with a little harissa, some bread and a salad.

ummaws's picture

I've just made this and it was so delicious. I bought ready made meatballs which saved me a job and I just added the spices that are in the recipe along with the onions. I also took advice from other comments and didn't add the slices of lemon. It was an excellent dish.

laugh_producer's picture
4

Very tasty sauce, I think I may have under seasoned the meatballs though as they were a bit bland. I'll add more spice and salt to the mix next time and I think they'll be perfect.

richardberkley's picture
4

Fabulous dish...my daughter who "doesnt like lamb" enjoyed it and we all felt it tasted like something you had put a lot of time and effort in to...yet it didnt take that long
Will be using this recipe again...thanks

amanda.whitfield's picture
5

REALLY tasty!! Thought initially this might be too hot, but the flavours were really good. Great for low calories too. Cooked without the olives as we dont like them. Will make this again very soon!

nasroweb's picture

Incredible! Made from beef I do not like lamb, do not add coriander - I forgot to buy! Garlic (with onions base) and pine nuts added. Also, I do not have a casserole cooked on the common adhesive frying pan, was still quite satisfactory result!
Dont forget to visit my moroccan food blog at: http://morocco-recipes.com

lucylou86's picture
5

Really tasty and really easy !

linnieevans's picture

Not clear if this is made on the hob or in the oven. Assumed it was the oven but then I found some internet sites which say there are 2 types of ceramic tagine dish, one can go in oven. other on the hob! Anyone advise please?

emmagifford's picture
4

Very good, agree a little too lemony so had to add more tom puree near the end. Great tasting meatballs, it made loads so only cooked half and froze the rest to have with pasta later in the week. Cooked in a tagline in the oven and just stirred in some wild & white basmati for an extra 20 mins cooking time, worked perfectly.

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Tips (1)

CelinaCooper's picture

Fantastic Recipe! So easy. I discarded the lemon after zesting and juicing it. Instead at the end I cut strips of Preserved Lemon and wedged them in between the meatballs. It was a great flavour - preserving tones down the acidity to add a more mellow flavour. I also served some Natural Yoghurt with it on the side with Couscous. Will definitely make it again!

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