Moroccan Tagine Meatballs

I took two cooking lesson in Marakesh, Morocco learning how to cook in a tagine, the traditional cooking vessel with a tall conical lid. The lid allows the condensation of juices from the food to self-baste and intensify the flavors.  You don’t have to own a tagine to make Moroccan recipes, though.  These meatballs with all their spices and delicious sauce will become one of your favorites.  You can serve them over traditional cous cous or rice, or just on their own.

Tagine Meatballs.jpg


1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 egg, beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt


1 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Preparation for meatballs:

Gently mix all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Using moistened hands, form meat into golfball size balls. Arrange on a baking sheet and set aside.

Preparation for stew:

Heat oil in a tagine or heavy skillet. Add onions and saute for 15 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon, cumin and turmeric. Stir 2 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes with juice, and raisins. Bring stew to a simmer. Carefully add meatballs to stew; gently press into liquid to submerge. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cilantro all over. Cover pot and cook over medium low heat until meatballs are cooked through, about 30 minutes. If there is too much liquid, remove lid and cook for 5-10 minutes more to allow liquid to reduce. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with cilantro and lemons, if desired.

MainsEvan Wei-HaasHolidays