Moroccan Meatball Stew

Meatballs are big these days. I don’t mean big, as in size.

I mean hot.

I don’t mean hot as in temperature.

I mean, meatballs are really really popular right now.

Did you know that there are now meatball restaurants? Also, there have been quite a few articles written about meatballs since the start of the new year.

It’s all okay with me because I like meatballs. Always have. Except for the ones my father made once when my mother was sick and he decided to cook dinner. Unfortunately, cooking was not his long suit. He made the meatballs by rolling ground beef (with nothing else) into balls that were larger than your average cupcake. He put them in the broiler pan, opened a can of tomato paste over them and broiled them to death.

Oh my. 

Moroccan Meatballs (recipe here) are much better. They’re nicely spiced, moist and a wonderful treat when added to a sauce, especially on a chilly or rainy day. The stew goes well with cooked couscous. But you can serve the meatballs on their own too, without the sauce. Still good with couscous.

Moroccan Meatball Stew

1 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground turkey

1 small onion, grated

1 large egg

1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

3 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine the beef and turkey in a large bowl. Add the onion, egg, breadcrumbs, parsley, cilantro, ginger, cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to taste and mix gently to distribute the ingredients evenly. Shape the mixture into balls about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick saute pan over medium high heat. Cook the meatballs a few at a time, turning them to brown all the surfaces, for 5-6 minutes or until well browned.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

28 ounce can tomatoes, drained and chopped

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup beef stock

Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, raisins, parsley, cilantro, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper and stock. Stir the ingredients, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Add the meatballs, cover the pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings