Monday, November 18, 2013

Lamb Meatballs with Figs, Cranberries and Yoghurt

Uni exams have finally concluded for 2013 so I can finally indulge in using my cookbooks.  It so happens that since finishing exams the weather has been consistent thunderstorms and so a perfect winter warmer dish (although it is summer here on the Gold Coast) was necessary.  So dear readers, what are your favourite winter warmer dishes?

These lamb meatballs are the perfect mix of sweet and sour, balanced with a dollop of yoghurt.  This recipe is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi's, 'Jerusalem'.

I am lucky enough to have my wonderful sister visiting me, who took the photo below (find more of her excellent work here and here)

Lamb Meatballs with Figs, Cranberries and Yoghurt
Serves 6, makes around 35 meatballs

- 750g minced lamb
- 2 onions
- handful of fresh mint, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground allspice
- 4 tbsp dried cranberries
- 1 egg
- 300g shallots, peeled
- olive oil, for frying
- 200ml white wine
- 500ml chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 4-6 thyme sprigs
- 2 tsp sugar
- 150-200g dried figs
- salt
- black pepper
- greek yoghurt to serve

1. Mince the onions in a food processor till very finely chopped.  Add to mixing bowl along with the lamb, mint, garlic, cinnamon, allspice, cranberries, egg, salt and pepper.  Mix very well.
2.  Roll into small balls (about the size of golf balls).
3.  Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a saucepan which has a tight-fitting lid and place a few meatballs in at a time.  Brown them on all surfaces and then remove from the pot and set aside.  Continue this with the remaining meatballs.
4.  Add shallots to the pot and brown.
5.  Add the wine, stock, bay leaves, thyme and sugar and bring to a gentle boil.  Add the figs and the meatballs.  Close the pot and reduce the heat to very low and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.
6.  Remove the lid and allow the sauce to thicken on the low heat for another hour.  Taste and season as required.
7.  Serve with fluffy couscous and a good dollop of greek yoghurt.  Enjoy :)


  1. What a great alternative to the classic meatball. Can't wait to give it a whirl!

  2. I love figs but never would have thought of putting them in a dish like this so I'm very intrigued, the flavours combinations sound amazing. For me, anything spicy or with a bit of heat is bound to be an awesome winter warmer dish.