SPICED BEEF MEATBALLS WRAPPED IN MINT LEAVES

Even though it’s the last day of summer, there is still plenty of barbecue weather ahead of us. These spiced meatballs can be prepared ahead of time and then simply grilled when your guests arrive and serve with the mint yoghurt sauce.

makes 32 balls - serves 4 to 6 as a main

8 x 15cm length bamboo skewers

500g minced beef

1 small onion, chopped

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon sweet paprika 

finely grated zest of half a lemon

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ bunch coriander stems and leaves

½ bunch mint, leaves, reserve 32 large mint leaves, stems discarded

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (optional)

2 tablespoons olive, or sunflower oil

ground black pepper

1 lemon, cut into six wedges, to serve

Sauce:

½ cup Greek yoghurt

juice of half a lemon

1 tablespoon finely chopped mint

Soak bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes. Combine yoghurt sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, place beef mince, onion, spices, lemon zest, salt, coriander and mint leaves into the bowl of a food processor.  Blend until mixture is well combined and formed a paste-like consistency. 

Divide mixture in to four, then divide each quarter evenly into eight pieces. Roll each piece between wet hands to form oval shape balls.  Using the reserved large mint leaves, wrap a mint leaf around each ball.  

Thread four balls onto each skewer.  The skewers can be made up to a day ahead.  Keep in airtight container in refrigerator until required. 

When ready to cook, remove meat from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.  

Preheat barbeque grill to a medium-high heat. Brush balls with oil on both sides.  Place skewers on grill and cook for 2 minutes, then using a spatula gently turn over and cook for a minute, or until just cooked through. 

Transfer to a serving plate.  Serve hot with yoghurt sauce.                 

Fiona Hammond ©  February 2019

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Mark Brancatisano