I don’t often cook with lamb because I tend to find the lamb flavor too overpowering. However, this Turkish based recipe has a subtle taste of lamb enhanced by the herbs and spices and, believe it or not, the bread actually makes the meatballs lighter!
You can serve this dish together with steamed rice or just as it is, as there are potatoes within to make it a one pot meal!
FOR THE MEATBALLS:
- 750g minced lamb
- 4 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- Small bunch of mint, finely chopped
- Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 1 beaten egg
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1tsp ground coriander
- 70g bread (or left over challah), crusts removed, placed in a bowl, hot water poured over it, left for about 10 seconds and then all moisture squeezed out of the bread and crumbled
- Olive oil for frying
- 6 ripe tomatoes, sliced
FOR THE POTATOES:
- 6 baking potatoes, unpeeled and sliced into 2cm thick slices
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- Sprinkling of oregano
- Salt and pepper
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 700ml chicken stock
- 2tsp paprika
- 1tsp salt
- ½ tsp coarse black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
For the meatballs: Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs, except the tomatoes and the olive oil, by hand.
Shape into golf ball-sized balls and slightly flatten them.
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and lightly fry the meatballs on each side until they are golden but not cooked through.
Remove from pan and drain on kitchen paper.
For the potatoes: Fry the potatoes briefly on each side, so that they aren’t cooked through but are golden in colour, seasoning with salt and pepper as you fry them.
Transfer the potatoes to kitchen paper and wipe out pan.
For the sauce:
Pour the tins of tomatoes into the pan and add the chicken stock, paprika and salt and pepper.
Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Layer the bottom of a large baking dish with the potatoes and arrange the meatballs on top.
Scatter around the sliced onion and pepper.
Sprinkle everything lightly with oregano.
Carefully pour the sauce into the dish so that it comes about halfway up.
Finish by arranging the sliced tomatoes on top.
Bake, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes.