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Lamb meatballs with Lebanese rice

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for lamb meatballs with Lebanese rice.

By Rodney Dunn
  • Serves 8
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 55 mins cooking
Lamb meatballs with Lebanese rice
Lamb meatballs with Lebanese rice

These spice-laden meatballs echo Middle Eastern flavours and are simple to prepare and cook. Lebanese rice, a classic in all Lebanese restaurants, is rich and buttery with a hint of allspice.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg minced lamb
  • 105 gm (1½ cup) fresh coarse breadcrumbs
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp each of ground allspice and ground cardamom
  • 90 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5 vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) coriander, to serve
Lebanese rice
  • 50 gm butter
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 120 gm angel hair pasta, coarsely broken
  • 400 gm (2 cups) basmati rice

Method

Main
  • 1
    Combine lamb, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg and spices in a large bowl and season to taste. Mix with your hands until well combined. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and set aside on a tray.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180C. Heat 30ml oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add meatballs and cook in batches, turning until browned (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a baking dish.
  • 3
    Heat remaining olive oil in a separate frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft (5-7 minutes). Add tomato and cook until tomato just softens (1-2 minutes). Pour over meatballs and roast until meatballs are cooked through (10-15 minutes).
  • 4
    For Lebanese rice, heat butter and oil in a large saucepan over low-medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft (5-6 minutes). Add pasta and stir until just beginning to brown, then add rice and 1 litre water, stir to combine, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid, and cook until liquid is absorbed (10-12 minutes). Season to taste. Scatter meatballs with coriander and serve immediately with the Lebanese rice.

Notes

Drink Suggestion: Spicy grenache-shiraz blend. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

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  • Author: Rodney Dunn