Middle Eastern meatballs


300g minced beef

150g minced lamb

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp of flax meal (you could use GF breadcrumbs if you have them)

2 tbsp each of chopped flat-leaf parsley, mint, dill and coriander, plus ½ tbsp extra of each to finish

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbsp baharat spice mix*

1 tbsp ground cumin

2 tsp capers, chopped

1 egg, beaten

For the tomato sauce:

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

250ml chicken stock

2 cans whole plum tomatoes

**you can either purchase a good quality spice mix from your local supermarket or you can make your own. If making your own: 1tbsp peppercorns, 1tbsp coriander seeds, 1tbsp cloves, 1 stick cinnamon, 1tbsp allspice, 1tbsp cardamom, 1tbsp cumin, 1/2 nutmeg (grated).


Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. Add three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper, mix with your hands and form into balls about the size of ping-pong balls.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in an extra-large frying pan for which you have a lid. Sear half the meatballs over a medium heat, turning them until they are brown all over – this will take about five minutes. Remove from the pan, add another half-tablespoon of oil to the pan and cook the other batch of meatballs. Once browned all over, remove these from the pan, too, then wipe it clean with kitchen towel.

When you have finished searing all the meatballs, return to the pan and add your tomato sauce.  Simmer for 25 minutes on a low heat. 

Serve with basmati rice or gluten-free pasta.