2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for cooking
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
125ml red wine
250ml pomegranate juice
1 cup herbs, a mix of parsley, coriander, mint and dill
1kg lamb mince
1 teaspoon sumac, plus extra to serve
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, ground
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, ground
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons milk
1 large egg
25g butter
1 tablespoon flour
250ml lamb or chicken stock

My mother would always make meatballs for a party. They take a bit of time to roll, but they’re perfect made in advance and reheated in the oven.


1.Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onions and garlic for 10 minutes until soft.
2.Add the red wine, bring to the boil and boil for a few minutes, then add the pomegranate juice.
3.Bring back to the boil, then reduce to a fast simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until reduced by half.
4.Set aside.
5.To make the meatballs, finely chop 2-4 tablespoons of the herbs, reserving the rest for garnish.
6.Add the herbs to the lamb along with the sumac, cumin, coriander, salt, breadcrumbs, milk and egg and mix well with your hands.
7.Shape into 2cm balls and refrigerate until needed.
8.Heat some oil in a frying pan and cook the meatballs, shaking them around the pan, for about 5 minutes until golden and cooked through.
9.You may need to do this in two or three batches. Store until needed.
10.Add the butter to the saucepan and heat, scraping all the bits up from the bottom of the pan.
11.Stir in the flour and cook for a minute then add the stock and stir to a smooth gravy.
12.Stir in the reduced pomegranate juice and heat through.
13.Taste and season with salt.
14.Store covered in the fridge for up to three days.
15.To serve, heat the oven to 200°C.
16.Put the meatballs in an ovenproof serving dish.
17.Pour over the sauce and stir to coat the meatballs.
18.Heat for 15 minutes.
19.Roughly chop the remaining herbs and scatter over with a little sumac.

Recipe and food styling Fiona Smith

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