minted lamb meatballs with petits pois

Lindsey Bareham

I came across lamb meatballs with peas in hauntingly spicy onion gravy in Morocco. Here the flavours are gentle; mint and flat-leaf parsley mixed into smaller than usual meatballs poached in lemony gravy. The peas are boiled separately and added at the end, taking the place of cous cous or rice.

serves 2-3, prep 30 min, cook 30 min

1 onion
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
250g minced lamb
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 egg yolk
250g frozen petits pois
750ml chicken stock
½ lemon
10g soft butter
1 dsp flour

Halve, peel and finely chop the onion. Soften in one tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Meanwhile, stir the crumbs into the yoghurt. Crumble the mince into a mixing bowl. Scatter onion, creamy crumbs and chopped herbs over the top. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the egg yolk. Use a fork to mix and mash thoroughly. Form into a ball. Break in half.

With wet fingers, make 13 small balls from each half, rolling between your hands. Cover with clingfilm and chill until required; at least 15 min. Simmer stock with 1 tbsp lemon juice and salt to taste in a sauté pan. Add the balls and simmer for about 8 min until cooked through. Scoop out of the liquid. Mash the butter with the flour to make a paste. Drop into the simmering liquid, whisking as it thickens the broth, cooking for about 3 min. Cook the peas in boiling, salted water. Drain. Return the balls. Heat through, add hot peas and serve.