Manousheh Meatballs

Manousheh Meatballs - student project

I finally got around to making these.  Sorry for the bad shots, I'm no photographer but I tried to document as much as I could.

In Lebanon we have something called a manousheh, which consists of zaatar (thyme) mixed with sumac, sesame seeds, salt and olive oil to form a paste.  Once you have the zaatar you spread it on a flattened piece of dough and stick it in the oven to get a manousheh.  Then you tend to eat it with Labne (strained yogurt) on the side because zaatar tends to be pretty dry.  I wanted to experiment with this, and I ended up with something a little too much like a falafel but made from meat.  I wasn't personally impressed, I thought the labne would give it a more sour taste (I guess I should have put a bit more) but the result was still pretty good.  I just couldn't compare it to the standard meatballs and sauce that I made following Dan's recipe... Still though I recommend giving it a try, the zaatar gave it an interesting flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb Ground Beef Chuck
  • 1/2 cup Pita bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Zaatar mix (purchased ready, so I didn't have to make it myself, but its Thyme, Sumac, Sesame Seeds, and Salt)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 healthy tablespoons of Labne (strained yogurt)

To make the bread, I just used bread flour.  The bread is great I suggest anyone try it, 3.5 cups bread flour, 2 tspns salt. Put 1 and 1/4 cups of warm water with 1 tspn active dry yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar until active and then add a tbspn vegetable oil and mix with the flour and salt.  Once risen, separate into dough balls.

Manousheh Meatballs - image 1 - student project

Then flatten

Manousheh Meatballs - image 2 - student project

Then bake

Manousheh Meatballs - image 3 - student project

And this is what it looks like when its ready.

Manousheh Meatballs - image 4 - student project

Now the meat!  Once the dough was ready I cut it up for the breadcrumbs and then added all the ingredients together.

Manousheh Meatballs - image 5 - student project

Then separated them into balls (1oz)

Manousheh Meatballs - image 6 - student project

Then roast

Manousheh Meatballs - image 7 - student project

And finally, EAT!! Yum :)Manousheh Meatballs - image 8 - student project

I was not very hungry by the time I was done, I munched on a lot of bread haha... so I was only able to eat 6 meatballs, I separate them into 2 sandwiches and ate one with yogurt and the other with hummus.  I preferred the hummus, but they were both great.  So thats mine, hope you guys enjoyed the process!