Moroccan Meatballs with Pomegranate Glaze – a festive holiday appetizer that can be made ahead, or have as a sumptuous dinner, served over fluffy cous cous, rice or quinoa.
- 1 fat shallot, very finely chopped – reserve ⅓ for the sauce.
- 1 lb. ground lamb, beef, or chicken (I prefer lamb)
- 4–5 large garlic cloves, minced or crushed through a garlic press
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup chopped herbs – flat leaf parsley, mint or cilantro or a blend
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, more to taste
- ¼ cup to ½ cup toasted bread crumbs (feel free to use gluten-free bread crumbs)
- ⅓ of a shallot – finely chopped
- 1 ½ cup pomegranate juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey.
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- pinch salt and pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
Garnish: pomegranate seeds, fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley or mint), or optional toasted pine nuts
- Sart the Pomegrante Glaze. In a small saute pan or pot ( do not use cast iron) saute shallot in a drizzle of olive oil, over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until tender. Add pomegranate juice, pinch of salt and pepper, maple and allspice. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to medium, then simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until it reduces to ½ cup. Turn heat off.
- While its simmering make the Meatballs. Place meatball ingredients in a medium bowl and using hands, combine well, adding enough breadcrumbs to make them easy to roll into balls. Cook a “tester.” Taste, adjust salt.
- Using wet hands, roll into ping-pong sized balls (about 1 ¾- 2 inches in diameter) and set aside. You should have about 12-16.
- To cook the meat balls: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Working in batches (don’t over crowd) brown the meatballs, giving the skillet a little shake now and then to roll them around a bit and cook each side. Once browned, turn heat down to lowest setting, cover and cook through for just a couple minutes.
- Place in an oven proof dish, pour glaze over top and keep warm until ready to serve, or refrigerate and reheat.
- Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and herbs.
The pomegranate juice may react to a cast-iron or aluminum pan, so use a stainless or enamel pan.