Spicy Autumn Meatballs – Domini Kemp

One of the things I love about Saturdays is a leisurely breakfast followed by an hour or two with The Irish Times and the supplements that come with it. Domini Kemp is a wonderful chef who writes a weekly column for the Irish Times weekend magazine, and has been the source of many wonderful recipes over the years. I love cooking hearty meaty dishes, and this weekends edition featured this Middle Eastern inspired Spicy Meatball dish which was right up my street. Not for the diet conscious, I served it with lemon couscous. Alan thought the meatballs themselves were ‘heavy’ enough not to warrant any carbs to accompany them. And to be fair to him the recipe did suggest serving these with a crunchy salad. In any case the meatballs and sauce are really tasty and will be cooked again.



For the Meatballs
250g minced lamb
250g minced beef
1 large onion grated
4 cloves garlic, crushed
30g ground almonds
1tsp sweet smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1tsp harissa paste
Salt and pepper
Pinch cinnamon
Few knobs butter

For the sauce
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
30 g butter
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 bay leaves
Squeeze honey (two big ones)
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 tsp harissa


Preheat an oven to 200 degrees/gas 4.
To make the meatballs, place all the ingredients in a bowl and with clean hands, mix them together thoroughly.


Form into small balls – about one-and-a-half inches across. Arrange on a roasting dish, sprinkle with a few small knobs of butter, and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce by sweating the garlic and cinnamon stick in the butter until soft, and then adding the rest of the ingredients. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the flavours are well mingled. Remove the meatballs from the oven, pour the sauce over them and bake for another 25 minutes. Serve with a crunchy green salad.


Recipe © Domini Kemp – First published in The Irish Times – Saturday 13th September 2014

This blog post and images © David Wilkins September 2014


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