Thursday, August 15, 2019

RECIPE: Moroccan Kefta (Beef Meatballs)

The original recipe is from Paula Wolfert's book Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco.  I used her seasoning mix but changed the procedure somewhat.  In Morocco, the meat is kneaded to produce a fine texture; I used the food processor.  You can make these without the breadcrumbs and eggs but they will not be as moist.

Moroccan Kefta (Beef Meatballs)
Makes sixty 1.5" meatballs

  • 2 pounds ground beef 
  • 1/2 c. fresh breadcrumbs (pulse bread in food processor until finely ground) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped parsley leaves and small stems
  • 1/3 c. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and small stems
  • 1/2 t. dried Moroccan mint or 2 T. fresh mint
  • 1/4 t. dried marjoram or 2 t. fresh
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. ras el hanout
  • 2 t. himalayan pink salt

In the bowl of a food processor, process the onions and fresh herbs until both are finely minced.

Add the breadcrumbs, eggs and spices.  Puree.

Add the meat and pulse to combine and grind the meat a little finer.  Don't  overdo it - the meat shouldn't be mush!

Set aside for at least 1 hour to let the flavors ripen.

Preheat oven to 400 F and position rack in center.  Line a jell roll pan with parchment or Silpat.

Using a 1.5" disher, drop meat mixture onto the lined pan.  By placing them fairly close together I can get 60 meatballs onto one 12 x 17" pan (they're going to shrink, so they can almost touch).

Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove and let cool for a minute or two, then serve.  We like to dip them in Cilantro Jalapeno Sauce or harissa mayonnaise.

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