baked lamb and oregano meatballs

  • ½ cup (80g) fine burghul (cracked wheat)+
  • ¾ cup (185ml) boiling water 
  • 1kg lamb mince 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup oregano leaves, chopped 
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin 
  • 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar 
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) pomegranate molasses or balsamic glaze++
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 
  • 1½ tablespoons harissa paste 
  • 2¼ cups (700g) tomato purée (passata) 
  • 2 cups (200g) grated mozzarella 
  • ¼ cup (20g) finely grated pecorino 
  • ½ cup oregano leaves, extra
  1. Preheat oven to 250°C (500°F). Place the burghul and water in a large bowl and mix to combine. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the grains are tender. Add the mince, eggs, oregano, cumin, 2 teaspoons of the sugar, the pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper and mix well to combine. Using wet hands, roll 2 tablespoons at a time into balls. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Cook the meatballs, in batches, turning frequently, for 5–7 minutes or until browned. Place in a 2.5-litre ovenproof dish and set aside. 
  2. Heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until lightly golden. Add the harissa, purée, remaining sugar, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Bring to the boil and cook for 5–7 minutes or until slightly reduced. 
  3. Pour the sauce into the dish over the meatballs and top with the mozzarella and pecorino. Bake for 10–12 minutes, top with the extra oregano leaves and cook for a further 2–3 minutes or until golden. Serves 4–6

You can also find burghul (cracked wheat) in Middle Eastern grocers, the health food aisle of supermarkets or health food shops.

+ You can find pomegranate molasses in Middle Eastern grocers, specialty grocers or supermarkets. 

Reader ratings (0)
donna hay team

Hi Caterina, if you cannot find burghul, you could use quinoa instead. Simply follow the quinoa packet cooking instructions for cooking method. Hope that helps!

Caterina Fallace

What is a suitable gf substitute for burghul?

donna hay team

Hi Angelica, yes they are the same thing, different brands etc vary the name! The dh team

Angelica Deb

I can’t seem to find what burghul is, but I’ve found Bulgur. Is this the same thing?

Fiona Burge

Absolutely love this recipe.  Balsamic glaze is much easier (& cheaper to find).  Enough for 2 meals. Served with a crisp green salad. SENSATIONAL!!





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