I am a big fan of minced meat and the great range of meals you can make with it. I used to just use minced beef but am now starting to use minced pork, lamb and turkey too as they are all equally as versatile and each type of meat goes nicely with various flavourings. This time I bought turkey mince which is cheap and much lighter than beef. I wanted to make meatballs with a lot of flavour and warmth behind them. Bulgur wheat was a perfect pairing for these meatballs; I added fresh cherry tomatoes and spring onions to the bulgur wheat and so was more of a type of salad as it was cold. I also made homemade hummus so the meal wasn’t too dry and served toasted pitta breads with it too. The good thing about this meal was that a lot of the ingredients crossed over and therefore didn’t work out too expensive. You could always make my Lentil and Coriander Dip to go with the meal instead of the hummus; they are very similar, just depends what you have to work with.
500g turkey mince
2 cloves garlic
1 small white onion
Handful fresh flat leaf parsley
1cm cubed fresh ginger
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp tumeric
30g dried breadcrumbs
Pinch chilli flakes
Salt and pepper
Bulgur Wheat Salad
350g dried bulgur wheat
4 spring onions
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube
Splash lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1. Start by making the meatballs first. I used a food processor to first blend the garlic, onion, parsley, ginger. If you don’t have a food processor, just finely chop all the ingredients. Then add the cumin, paprika, tumeric, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
2. Take a large mixing bowl and add the minced turkey, make sure it’s broken up nicely and not stuck in one clump. Add the chopped ingredients and seasonings to the turkey mince and break in an egg. Combine the mixture well.
3. Start adding the breadcrumbs until you have a consistency that you can mould and that sticks together.
5. Cover the plate with clingfilm and place in the fridge to cool for a few hours. It is best to cool meatballs as it allows them to firm up and therefore they shouldn’t break up during cooking.
6. Whilst the meatballs are cooling make the hummus. Again I used a food processor to get a smooth texture however you can use a pestle and mortar to break down the chickpeas but it doesn’t matter if the hummus is lumpy. Place the chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley in the food processor and blend or in a large bowl and crush. Season with salt and pepper. Always taste the hummus as you go and add more of anything according to personal preference.
7. Cook the meatballs either in a large frying pan or griddle pan or you could grill them; either way make sure you don’t make it too hot so they cook evenly.
8. Whilst the meatballs are cooking make the bulgur wheat salad. Cook the bulgur wheat according to the guidelines on the packet- it normally takes about 20-30 minutes, make sure you drain off any excess liquid. I used chicken stock as the liquid to cook it in to give it more flavour.
9. Chop the cherry tomatoes into quarters and slice the spring onions. Once the bulgur wheat is cooked mix in the cherry tomatoes and spring onions and season with lemon juice and salt and pepper.