These are delicate meat balls with a silky texture and exotic spicy aromas, the crown of Lebanese cuisine.
- 1 large onion
- 600 g ground beef
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinamon
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
YIELD: about 20 meatballs
COURSE: Appetizers Tapas Meze
- Put the onion in a food processor and pulse until coarsely dhopped. Add the ground beef, garlic, egg, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and process until smooth. Add the cilantro and pulse briefy. Transfer to. bowl. Take small spoonfuls of the mixture and shape them into walnut-sized balls with your hands. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet, add the eatballs in batches, and saute gently, rolling them until they brown all over.
- Meanwhile, to make the sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and saute gently until translucent. Sprinkle with the flour, salt, pepper, allspice, and ground coriander and stir for 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the pomegranate syrup and the water. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the meatballs to the saucepan with the sauce. Roll to coat them. Cover and simmer for 10 more minutes, shaking the pan occaisionally to prevent them from sticking. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and serve hot.