We're back with another mouthwatering Ottolenghi creation... it's become quite an addiction, but with a whole book chocka-block of delicious recipes to discover, why not?!
Having swiped our MasterCard a few too many times in NYC, we decided that post-holiday a relaxing weekend laying low all snug at home was in order. A good choice considering the weather with serious wind and rain whipping up an almighty storm across London! Cashmere, candles, heart warming food and Hendricks was just what the doctor ordered!
After a busy day blogging, gyming and generally getting our lives in order; we decided we'd cook up an Ottolenghi storm to rival the gale ramping up outside! The verdict - pretty darn good if we do say so ourselves... Both the meatballs and sauce were bursting full of amazing rich flavours, combined with the mixed fresh herbs - a myriad of flavours that all work really well together. Annoyingly, we totally forgot to add the yogurt to serve, which I think would add edge and texture to the dish. Having said that it was truly delicious without it and we finished every last speck on our plates!!
Here's how to create this little beauty...
Ingredients serving 6:
750g minced lamb
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
20g parsley, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
¾ tsp each ground allspice and cinnamon
70g barberries, roughly chopped (if you can't find these you can use sour cherries or cranberries)
1 free-range egg
Salt and black pepper
100ml sunflower oil
700g banana shallots, peeled
200ml white wine
500ml chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tsp sugar
150g dried figs
200g Greek yogurt
3 tbsp mixed soft herbs (such as mint, coriander, dill or tarragon), torn roughly
1. In a large bowl, put the lamb, onions, parsley, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, sour cherries, egg, half a teaspoon of black pepper and a teaspoon of salt
2. Mix with your hands and roll into balls about the size of a golf ball
3. Heat 1/3 of the oil in a large, heavy-based pot for which you have a tight-fitting lid. (we had to use a wok which has a lid but it still worked!) Over medium heat, cook the meatballs a few at a time, turning for a few minutes until coloured all over.
4. Remove from the pot and set aside. Repeat with the remaining meatballs.
5. The recipe tells you to wipe the pot clean and add the remaining oil - however we decided to keep all the goodness in the pan to add extra flavour to the next step!
6. Add the whole peeled shallots and cook them over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden-brown all over. Pour in the wine, leave it to bubble for a minute or two, then add the stock, bay leaves, thyme, sugar and some salt and pepper.
7. Arrange the figs and browned meatballs on top of the shallots; the meatballs need to be almost submerged in liquid. Bring to a boil, cover the pot with a lid, reduce the heat to minimum and simmer for 30 minutes.
8. Remove the lid and simmer for another hour, until the sauce has reduced and intensified in flavour. Taste and season as needed.
9. Transfer the contents of the pan to a large, deep serving dish. Whisk the yogurt, pour this over the top, sprinkle with herbs.
10. Serve and enjoy comfort food at its best!!!