From acclaimed food writer Rebecca Seal, who has teamed up with Brancott Estate wines, this delicious meat balls go right nice with a smooth pinot.
- For the Meatballs:
- 300g minced beef
- ¼ onion, very finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs, +1 extra tablespoon if needed
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon sumac (optional), plus extra to garnish
- 1 teaspoon hot Turkish red pepper paste or ½ teaspoon hot paprika
- 1 teaspoon Turkish tomato paste or 2 teaspoons tomato purée
- 1 tablespoon very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- vegetable oil for deep-frying
- For the garlic yoghurt:
- 175ml plain Greek-style or Turkish yoghurt
- ½ garlic clove, crushed (or more, to taste)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
If the breadcrumbs are fresh, toast them gently in a dry frying pan or low oven.
Mix the beef with the onion, garlic, parsley, spices, pastes or purée, seasoning and breadcrumbs.
Add the egg and mix quickly but thoroughly. If the mixture is very wet, add the extra breadcrumbs and mix again. Divide the mixture into twelve and shape into balls, using your hands.
To make the garlicky yoghurt sauce, mix the yoghurt with all the other ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Keep in the fridge until it is time to serve.
Heat the oil for deep-frying until a cube of day-old bread sizzles and browns in 30 seconds, then turn the heat down to low.
Deep-fry the meatballs in batches for 4 minutes each, or until the meat in the centre is cooked through and the outside is a deep golden brown (unless you or your butcher freshly grind the meat, it’s important to ensure it is thoroughly cooked). Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Alternatively flatten into patties and shallow fry for about 3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Serve straight away, with the yoghurt sauce and sprinkled with a little extra sumac.
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