Carrot, Coriander & Cumin Meatballs

Not soup inspired, I promise! Every since my success with lamb & beetroot, I’ve been playing around with more meat and grated veg meatballs. It works so well as an alternative to breadcrumbs by keeping in a bit more moisture and retaining a soft texture, and can also be used to add flavour as well. In this recipe the carrot provides a sweetness which complements the spices, but doesn’t overpower the meat itself! The only thing to remember is that they don’t stay together too well when they’re cooking, so it’s much easier to stick them in the oven rather than frying, as they don’t respond too well to being moved until they’re fully cooked through.

In terms of meat, you can use any animal as long as it’s not too strong tasting – so I’d steer clear of beef or lamb as the flavours are a bit too much and would overpower the rest of your ingredients, which are a bit more delicate in this case. I used veal in this photo, because that’s what turned up in my Devon Rose meatbox, but you can also go with turkey, chicken or pork if you find that a bit easier to get hold of.

These also taste great cold – so good for lunchboxes!

Ingredients (serves 2 – about 12 meatballs)

  • 400g mince of choice (see above)
  • 2 medium sized carrots, finely grated (food processor is easiest but a cheesegrater will do!)
  • 1tbsp each coriander & cumin seeds, or 2 tsp each of ground
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • a handful of parsley, chopped
  • salt & pepper

If using, toast your coriander and cumin seeds in a dry frying pan until you can smell the flavour developing and they’re starting to brown. Remove from the heat and grind in a pestle & mortar or whatever fancy equipment you have!

Slowly cook your onions until they’re soft and slightly translucent. Set aside to cool until you’re able to touch them – the only way to do meatballs properly is using you hands, and you don’t want to burn them! Squeeze any excess moisture out of your grated carrot.

Place all your ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and combine everything together using your hands until everything is evenly distributed through the mix. Take care not to overwork – it can make your meat a bit tough. Shape into about 12-15 even sized meatballs and place in an ovenproof dish.

Cook at 180C for about 30 minutes – maybe slightly more if they’re quite large, just cut one open as a tester to make sure it’s done.

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