In my humble opinion, nobody does cooking shows quite like the British. Paula Deen, butter and all, has nothing on Nigella. The Pioneer Woman’s frontier is pretty amazing but doesn’t quite have the appeal of River Cottage or Hugh and his curly locks. And really, can anyone compare to Jamie Oliver (the correct answer is NO). Having grown up with British chefs, getting used to the American style of cooking show has been quite a challenge. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place but the shows I’ve seen are generally set in studios with lots of “somethings” that have been prepared earlier. They lack Nigella’s sass, Jamie’s enthusiasm and passion and Hugh’s sense of adventure.
One of the chefs I miss the most is Rick Stein. The British chef from Cornwall with a passion for all things fish. When I’m homesick I sometimes watch cooking shows on YouTube and Rick Stein’s European Odyssey is a firm favourite. It was while watching his sojourn through Morocco that I saw the basis for this recipe that was originally cooked in a Tagine.
I ‘ve adapted it and probably removed some of the authentic Moroccaness, but I still love this recipe on a cold winter’s night and really makes me want to see Morocco.
- 450g minced beef
- small bunch of fresh parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 tbsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. chilli powder (or to taste)
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 4 eggs
- Fresh parsley or coriander to serve
- Salt and Pepper to taste
In bowl mix together the mince, parsley, 1 tbsp. of cumin, 1 tsp. of paprika and some salt & pepper. Using your hands, fashion them into about 40 small meatballs.
Add a little olive oil into a deep casserole dish that has a lid and brown the meatballs. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. I fried mine in two batches. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the pan when they’ve got a bit of colour and transfer to a plate.
Add another splash of oil into the pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook them until the onions are soft and have a little bit of colour. At this point you can use a touch of water to de-glaze the pan if there’s lovely brown flavour stuck to the bottom. Now add the remaining cumin, paprika and chilli, if you’re using, and fry off the spices for a few minutes.
Finally, add the tomato. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes until it’s thickened and the flavour has intensified. I know that’s a bit airy fairy but you want to be able to taste all the spices and a deep tomato flavour.
Add the meatballs back into the sauce and give it a stir, place the lid on and cook for 10 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.
Now make four spaces in the sauce and crack the eggs into the pan. Place the lid back on the pot and turn the stove off. The residual heat should just “set” the eggs and leave the yolks lovely and runny.
Sprinkle some fresh parlsey on top and serve with a green salad and some fresh crusty bread or fluffly white rice!