A warming dish for chillier weather.


675g minced lamb

1 large onion - finely chopped

2 tbsp parsley - chopped

1 tbsp coriander - chopped

2 cloves garlic - finely chopped

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp allspice

50g dried cranberries - chopped

1 medium egg - whisked

75 ml vegetable oil

400g frozen peeled pearl onions - defrosted and drained well

425ml chicken stock - cube is fine

150ml white wine

2 bay leaves

Sprig of fresh thyme

1 tbsp sugar

130g pitted dried dates

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp mint, parsley, coriander & dill - roughly torn

150g sheep milk yoghurt, if not, use Greek style yoghurt

Salt & pepper for seasoning both the meatballs and finishing


  1. In a large bowl, using your hands, mix together the mince, parsley, onions, garlic, cranberries, spices, egg, salt & pepper. Once mixed roll into golf sized balls onto a tray.
  2. Heat 25mls of the oil in a a large heavy based casserole type pot. Once hot add a few meatballs at a time and brown all over. Remove once browned and set aside, continue until all the meatballs have been seared and wipe the pot clean.
  3. Return the pot to a medium heat and add the remaining oil. Add the pearl onions and cook, continuously stirring until golden. Add the wine and reduce by half.
  4. Add the chicken stock, sugar, bay leaves, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Place the dried dates and meatballs on top off the onions, making sure they are almost completely covered in the liquid. If not add a little extra stock.
  5. Cover with the pot lid and allow to simmer on a low heat for 25-30 mins. Then remove the lid and allow to simmer for another hour. At this stage the sauce should have reduced and thickened.
  6. Add the lemon zest and check the seasoning. Transfer to a deep serving dish and drizzle with the yoghurt. Roughly scatter with the herbs and serve. Serve with rice or warm cous cous.