Meatball tagine

Serves 4-6
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For the meatballs



For the meatballs

800g minced lamb
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2tsp ground cumin
1/2tsp sweet Spanish pimenton or paprika
1tsp freshly grated root ginger
1/4tsp ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2tsp Spanish pimenton or paprika
1/2tsp ground cumin
A good pinch of saffron
4tbsp olive oil
300ml beef or chicken stock
400g tomatoes, skinned, seeded and roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

4 medium eggs

First make the sauce. In a good-size saucepan or cast-iron casserole, gently cook the onion, garlic, pimenton, cumin and saffron in the oil for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well. Mould into balls about the size of a 10p and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Heat some vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan until almost smoking and fry the meatballs a few at a time until nicely coloured, then drain in a colander or on some kitchen paper. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F/Gas mark 6.

To serve, arrange the meatballs and sauce round the edge of a tagine, ovenproof dish or individual tagines or serving dishes, leaving a gap in the middle of each individual dish, or four gaps in the larger ones. Crack an egg into the gaps, cover the dishes with foil or the tagine lid if your oven is big enough and put them in the oven for about 5-10 minutes until the white is just set.

Serve immediately with the tagine lids on. Offer bread or couscous to mop up the yolk and sauce.

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