I thought I might start the month with something I enjoyed very much as a kid. My mom used to make us this recipe, and my favourite way to eat it was, of course, on top of spaghetti. That is probably why spaghetti with meatballs is my favourite dish of all-time. Not any meatballs though. Moroccan meatballs.
It’s a thing, I swear.
Little back story:
In a summer of my childhood, me, my cousin and my parents spent a couple of weeks in my uncle’s beach house. I love that house to pieces. We used to go there every summer, usually with my cousins and we would just have a blast.
I remember that one summer more than the others for a specific reason. My mom was making dinner for just us, the kids. And because of that, she used to ask us (me) what we wanted for dinner. That’s a big deal, because that gave me the possibility to say: “Spaghetti with meatballs”, as many times as I could.
And I did. Every night.
And so my mom made us spaghetti with meatballs every night. I guess she did it because she wanted me to realise that if I was to eat my favourite dinner every night, I would grow sick of it. She was wrong. I still love it. And I loved that summer partly because of it.
So how are Moroccan meatballs any different from any meatballs.
Here is the main difference: No eggs, No breadcrumbs, No milk … No nonsense
That last part is important.
I know what you are thinking right now: “But without those ingredients, they will be dry and gross … gaaash”
And that’s where I say: “Grated onions for the win”
That’s right amigo, grated onions will make your meatballs very soft and moist. Onions are mostly water and flavor, and that’s what you want inside your balls. No pun intended.
Take a look…
Here is the other difference you will notice in Moroccan meatballs: they contain a lot more herbs and spices than usual. You have your usual paprika, cumin, chopped parsley, and of course the most recognizable Moroccan spice blend: Ras Al Hanout.
Say that 10 times faster: Ras Al Hanout, Ras Al Hanout, Ras Al Hanout Ras Al Hanout Ras Al Hanout Ras Al Hanout Ras Al Hanout Ras Al Hanout Ras Al Hanout …
It is the most ridiculous name for a spice mix, it literally translates to: The head of the store.
Go figure, we Moroccans are all about practicality, when the first person called it like that, everyone else followed. Why change a funny name?
The final result:
I have received many requests from friends and family urging me to share some Moroccan recipes on the blog, so I thought, hey why not, I’m running this blog for you guys.
So here is my request for you guys:
Please suggest some Moroccan(or any cuisine you like) recipes to me. If you guys are up for it, I can open a suggestion page and you can leave me requests for any recipe you want to see me make.
In the meantime, leave us a comment, and subscribe to our newsletter!
Lots of love,
Soft and moist Moroccan meatballs
- 1 to 1.5 lbs ground beef (20% fat)
- 1 small onion
- 1 cup tomato sauce use half if you want a much lower carb count
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ras al hanout see notes
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
a handful of parsley
If you don't have a clay pot, or Tagine, that's totally okay, all you need is pan with a lid.
Start by chopping your parsley and garlic. In a food processor, chop your onion very thinly. If you don't have a food processor you can just use a box grater.
In a bowl, mix your ground beef, spices, salt, pepper, 2/3 of the chopped parsley, onions and. Then form your mix into meatballs.
Add about a Tbsp of olive oil to your pan and warm it up for about 2 minutes on medium heat.
Fry your garlic for 1 minute then add in your tomato sauce
Place your meatballs in the pan and top with the rest of the parsley that you have. At this point, I like to take a spoon and just cover the meatballs with sauce to make sure they don't dry up while they are cooking. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes maximum on medium to low heat.
Once the sauce thickens up (the meat will release it's fat in the sauce), your meatballs will be ready.
Rass al Hanout is a Moroccan spice blend that you can get in ethnic grocery stores. If you wanna DIY it, I got you covered :
This will make about 2-3 Tablespoons. I would recommend making a big batch and storing in a mason jar.
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg
Some recipes call for all spice. It’s all up to you if you want to add it.