By Rory Kelly
I think if I was pushed into it and had to make the decision then meatballs would certainly be on my death row-last- -meal-list…specifically my Dad’s 10 clove meatballs! because they are simply bonkers brilliant!
But……I think I clicked on something that’s gonna challenge Daddy Bear and his amazing Italian meatballs…and that is the mighty North African ‘Bus Station Lamb Keftas’…now these are just insane! Bus Station simply because this is where you will normally find this dish across North Africa and in some parts of the Middle East..served straight up in the pan they were cooked in. You can serve these with anything but my preference is just simply ripped and torn sourdough bread.
Bus Station Lamb Keftas
2lb good minced lamb
2 tbs Ras Al Hanut
1 tbs cumin powder
1 tbs garlic salt
1 tps hot chili flakes
1 tps sugar
1 small red onion
salt and pepper to taste
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 big squirt of tomato paste
So, meat balls…but turbo-charged with some brain-shaking spices in the form of the mighty Ras Al Hanut. Kick off by finely dicing the onion then in a big bowl combine the onion with the lamb, 1 egg, 1 tbs Ras Al Hanut, Sugar, Cumin, Garlic salt and chili flakes.
Next, the real important bit…you gotta check the flavoring and seasoning so pinch a piece of the lamb mix and fry it….add what it needs in your opinion…salt, chili whatever, this is your only oppo to get the seasoning of the Keftas right.
Happy with the seasoning? Get your balls together…literally just grab a lump of the lamb mix and roll into a ball about the size of a golf ball, then set into a wide frying pan and brown well all over.
When the keftas are well browned add in the tomatoes the remaining Ras Al Hanut, tomato paste to the pan and season. Then simply place in a pre-heated oven at 180c for 10 minutes. This is the first stage of baking, after 10 minutes take the keftas out and crack in the remaining eggs then sling back in the oven until the eggs are cooked how you want them ….ie runny or in my case hard.
Serve straight from the oven with afore-mentioned sourdough and get stuck in…no room for etiquette here – kill or be killed, you snooze you loose!! For a stunning other option check out these Mtewem Marka Hamra from Algiers!