Meatball Tagine with Apricots

Savour the flavours of Morocco in this fragrant one-pot wonder by cookbook author, dietitian and home economist - Christine Capendale
Meatball Tagine with Apricots
ITP Images
Meatball Tagine with Apricots
January 21, 2019
Level Intermediate
Preparation Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time 50 minutes
Serves 4

PHOTO BY Hein Van Tonder
RECIPE BY Christine Capendale
FOOD STYLING BY Hein Van Tonder & Emma Nkunzana


For the meatballs

1/3 cup breadcrumbs
3 tbsp spinneysFOOD Bottled Water
500g spinneysFOOD Beef Lean Mince
1 small onion, finely chopped
50g parsley, chopped
1 spinneysFOOD Organic Free Range Egg
1 tbsp spinneysFOOD BBQ Seasoning
spinneysFOOD Salt, to taste
spinneysFOOD Black Pepper, to taste
½ cup cake flour
tbsp olive oil

For the tagine

2 onions, chopped
1½ tbsp ras el hanout seasoning
1 small red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
1 small yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
300g unripe apricots, halved, pitted and roughly choppe
2 tbsp harissa paste
300ml tomato paste
150ml beef stock
2 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted, for garnishing
spinneysFOOD Fresh Parsley, chopped, for garnishing
Double cream yoghurt, for garnishing
500g cooked bulgur wheat, to serve


  • To make the meatballs

  • 1

    Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Mix the breadcrumbs with the water and leave to soak for 5 minutes. Mix together the mince, chopped onion, parsley, egg, spice and seasoning, and the drained breadcrumbs until well incorporated. Shape the mixture into 20 small meatballs – each weighing about 35g. Roll each meatball in the flour, dust off any excess flour. Heat half the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and fry the meatballs until golden brown all over and almost cooked. Remove from the pan and keep aside

  • To make the tagine

  • 1

    Add the rest of the olive oil to the frying pan and place on a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 4 minutes or until soft. Add the ras el hanout, peppers, apricots, harissa paste, tomato paste and stock and bring to the boil. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken – about 15 minutes. Taste the sauce to adjust the seasoning. Place the meatballs in a tagine or an ovenproof casserole dish and pour the sauce over them. Bake (covered with a lid) in the oven for about 25 minutes. Serve on a bed of cooked bulgur wheat, topped with the almonds, parsley and a dollop of yoghurt.


Top Tip

To speed up the ripening process, place unripe plums in a paper bag away from direct sunlight and store at room temperature


Make the most of your unripe fruit with our mouth-watering recipe for sticky lamb ribs with grilled plums
Who knew unripe fruit could taste so good? Awaken your taste buds with this plum carpaccio with salmon and pickled ginger