Baked Lamb And Oregano Meatballs

Serves 4-6


  • ½ cup (80g) fine burghul (see tip)
  • ¾ cup (185ml) boiling water
  • 1kg lamb mince
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups oregano leaves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) pomegranate molasses or balsamic glaze
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1½ tablespoons harissa paste
  • 2¼ cups (700g) tomato purée (passata)
  • 2 cups (200g) grated mozzarella
  • ¼ cup (20g) finely grated pecorino
  • ½ cup oregano leaves, extra


  1. Preheat oven to 250°C (500°F). Place the burghul and water in a large bowl and mix to combine. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the grains are tender. Add the mince, eggs, oregano, cumin, 2 teaspoons of the sugar, the pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Using wet hands, roll 2 tablespoons at a time into balls. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Cook the meatballs, in batches, turning frequently, for 5–7 minutes or until browned. Place in a 2.5-litre ovenproof dish and set aside.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until lightly golden. Add the harissa, purée, remaining sugar, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Bring to the boil and cook for 5–7 minutes or until slightly reduced.
  3. Pour the sauce into the dish over the meatballs and top with the mozzarella and pecorino. Bake for 10–12 minutes, top with the extra oregano leaves and cook for a further 2–3 minutes or until golden.

Tip: Finely ground burghul and pomegranate molasses can be found in Middle Eastern grocers. You can also find burghul in the health food aisle of supermarkets or health food shops.

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