Sometimes my recipes come about in the weirdest of ways. This one happened mostly because I had a case of pomegranates on hand, and I wanted to do something savory with them besides another salad. But I’ve also been trying to branch out with the spices I use. And so between the tin of Moroccan Harissa I still hadn’t opened, and the surplus of pomegranates, a new favorite was born.
I’m still wondering why I’m even posting this because I’m a little unsure of how the meatballs look – they’re just so dark, almost black. But it’s really too good not to share, and if you don’t use a cast iron skillet like I did, they’ll be a little prettier. Although there is something about pomegranate juice that gets all purply black when cooked.
I’m guessing you’re not going to mind in the least the slightly strange appearance once you take your first bite though. These are so flavor packed, and they have the addictive quality of sweet+spicy, (but not spicy hot).
I made these meatballs with ground beef which is readily available here, but ground lamb or even pork would also be good.
For the Moroccan Harissa, I used the mix that’s from a local spice making company, and I really love their spice mixes. This isn’t sponsored or anything, I just love the flavors and the fact they’re 100% natural with no fillers at all. Any Moroccan Harissa mix you like will work here, just be aware of any heat your spice mix might have, mine is mild with no real heat.
Once the meatballs are formed…
… they get panfried before the pomegranate sauce goes in. While you’re cooking the meatballs, it’s nice to have your side dishes mostly ready to go because the meatballs don’t take too long.
We like to serve these with steamed white jasmine rice to soak up the extra sauce, and the rice takes about the same amount of time to cook as the meatballs. And of course, we like to pile on plenty of pomegranate arils for that fresh pop of flavor!Print
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil, or avocado oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 Tablespoons Moroccan Harissa spice mix, see notes
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt, or to your taste depending on your spice mix
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup fine almond flour
- 1/4 cup grated onion
Pomegranate Glaze Sauce:
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 Teaspoons maple syrup
- Sea salt to taste
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils, or more if desired
- Steamed Jasmine rice or cauliflower rice
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat a 9-10″ skillet over medium high heat. While the skillet heats, mix together the ground beef, harissa spice mix, sea salt, pepper, egg, almond flour, and grated onion together until completely combined. Roll the mixture into meatballs, about 2 Tablespoons each for a total of 20-22 meatballs.
- Add the tablespoon of oil to the preheated pan along with the meatballs. Reduce the heat to medium, and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.
- While the meatballs are browning, start the rice or your choice of side dish.
- Place the pomegranate juice and chicken stock into a small saucepan, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer until the sauce has reduced down to about 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes.
- When the meatballs are browned, add the minced garlic and ginger to the pan, and stir lightly to combine. Then add the reduced pomegranate sauce, and simmer the sauce together with the meatballs, turning them occasionally to cook evenly until they’re done in the center, and the sauce is syrupy.
- Serve the meatballs immediately with your choice of sides.
My Moroccan Harissa spice mix isn’t ‘hot’ spicy, so you may need to adjust accordingly if yours is. Mine is also salt free, so you may need to adjust the salt levels if your spice mix contains salt.