Moroccan Lamb Meatball Tajine

Last year I posted a few Moroccan dishes including how to make preserved lemons.  I dipped into my stash of preserved lemons (which are still going well!) to make this tajine that’s bursting with citrus flavors.

I made this in a shallow enamelled cast iron pot, similar to the Le Creuset Buffet Casserole disk that was just the perfect size and served it over a bed of couscous.

Moroccan Lamb Meatball Tajine with Herbs and Lemon adapted from Moroccan Cooking



  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 tbs flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 slices bread
  • 1 egg
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) minced or ground lamb or beef
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Herb and Lemon Sauce

  • 1 tbs butter or oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and sliced (or ¼ tsp cayenne pepper)
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbs cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbs flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • ½ preserved lemon, optional (but recommended!)


To make the meatballs, process the onion and parsley in a food processor until finely chopped.

Tear the bread into pieces, add to the food processor along with the egg and process for a few seconds.

Add the lamb or beef, cumin, paprika, pepper and 1 tsp salt and process to a thick paste, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally. (Instead of using a food processor you could grate the onion, chop the parsley, crumb the bread and add to the meat in a bowl with the egg, spices and seasoning, then knead until paste-like in consistency)

With moistened hands, shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls and place them on a tray.  Cover and refrigerate until required.

To make the herb and lemon sauce, heat the butter or oil in a saucepan and add the onion.

Cook over low heat until soft and golden, then add the paprika, turmeric, cumin, and chilli or cayenne pepper and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Add the chicken stock and coriander and bring to a boil.

Add the meatballs to the pan and shake the pan to settle them into the sauce.

Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Add most of the parsley and lemon juice and season if necessary.

Return to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes.

If using preserved lemon, rinse well under running water, remove and discard the pulp and cut the rind into thin strips.  Add to the meatballs.

Transfer to a tagine or bowl, scatter with the remaining parsley and serve hot with couscous or crusty bread.


2 responses to “Moroccan Lamb Meatball Tajine

  1. This looks awesome! Is “mined” lamb or beef the same as ground?

  2. Yes mom…it’s the same. I meant to spell ‘minced’ but it’s all corrected now!

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