Packed with intriguing fragrance, this meatballs and giant couscous dish brings a Moroccan freshness to the table. Panko breadcrumbs give the meatballs weight while ginger and mixed spice create a tangy zing before the sweet prunes in their centre surprise you with a burst of sticky flavour. Served over a refreshing couscous salad, the giant variety of couscous more light and watery than it’s smaller namesake, grilled vegetables add the final touch while chickpeas make sure that, although light with a healthy feel, it’s still a satisfyingly filling dinner.
Unique and full of zest, pair it with French rapper S.Pri Noir’s Chico. A silky track with a shuffling groove, his buttery french dances over the beat’s salsa guitars and shakers for a tune that surpasses the language barrier as simply an incredible sounding piece of music. Even without understanding his words, Noir’s delivery is charismatic and energetic enough to retain your attention as he builds towards the chorus’s upbeat brass and smooth vocals. For more, check his debut album Masque Blanc.
For the Cous Cous Salad:
Courgette (150g - diced)
Aubergine (150g - diced)
Red onion (100g)
Tinned chickpeas (130g - drained)
Olive oil (a drizzle)
Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)
Giant couscous (170g)
Chicken stock (250ml)
For the meatballs:
Minced beef (500g)
1 medium egg (whisked)
Panko breadcrumbs (40g)
Pitted prunes (a handful - roughly chopped)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
Chicken stock (200ml)
Ginger (1/2 tsp - finely chopped)
Mixed spice (1/2 tsp)
1. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees.
For the Couscous Salad:
2. Place the diced courgette, aubergine, red onion and chickpeas into a large bowl. Add the oil and pepper then mix together well ensuring the vegetables are well coated with the oil. Next transfer the veggies onto a baking tray and spread out. Place the tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Check half way and turn with a spoon.
3. Meanwhile place the couscous in a small saucepan. Add the stock, cover with a lid and then place on a medium heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8 minutes. Remove the pan off the heat and leave to stand with the lid on for at least 5 minutes. Drain off any water still remaining and then fluff the couscous with a fork.
4. Once the veggies are cooked, remove from the oven and mix in with the cooked couscous. Set to one side ready to serve later on.
For the meatballs:
5. In a large bowl mix together the mince, egg, prunes and breadcrumbs. Place a large empty plate or tray at the side of the bowl and use your hands to form small meatballs from the mince mixture, placing them onto the large plate. Once all the mince has been made into meatballs place a large frying pan or griddle pan on a high heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Gently transfer the meatballs to the heated pan and brown all over - use tongs to constantly turn the meatballs and give an even colouring all over. Remove from the heat.
6. Next add the stock, chopped tomatoes, ginger and mixed spice into a small bowl or jug. Mix together well and then pour over the meatballs. Place a lid over the meatball pan and simmer them in the sauce for a good 10 minutes. Ensure the meatballs are cooked through (nice and firm) before serving.
7. Serve the meatballs alongside the couscous salad and top with chopped parsley and a spoon of creme fraiche.