It is the combination of spices and herbs here that really make these meatballs sing: deeply flavorful and tinged with sweetness from cinnamon, this dish is meant for sharing. Perfect for a pot-luck or large family supper as they can easily be made in advance and reheated, you might also find them equally a treat for just two as the left-overs are fabulous!
2 small onions, finely chopped
1 tbs. chili powder
2 lbs. lean ground beef
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbs. smoked paprika
2¼ tsp. coriander seeds, crushed
1¼ tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
½ tsp. allspice
1 cinnamon stick
1¼ cups tomato purée
2 cups beef stock
a good squeeze of lime juice
chopped cilantro leaves, to serve
sour cream, avocado and tortilla chips, to serve
Mix half the onions with a pinch of chili powder and the ground beef, then season well. Shape into 25 meatballs and put on a tray in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and brown the meatballs in batches. Set aside. Add the remaining onion to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, or until golden. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, then add the spices and the remaining chili powder. Mix well, then pour in the tomato puree and the stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
Gently add the meatballs and leave to simmer 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through and firm. Season well, add more chili powder, if you want, and stir in the lime juice. Serve topped with cilantro leaves, sour cream, avocado, and tortilla chips.