Beef Meatballs with Warm Yoghurt Sauce and Paprika Butter

, from Issue #84. May, 2019
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Beef Meatballs with Warm Yoghurt Sauce and Paprika Butter

Serve these tender meatballs over a cooked grain such as burghul, barley, couscous or brown rice. Flatbreads for mopping up the sauce are also recommended!

Serves: 4


Beef meatballs
600 grams beef mince
½ cup cottage cheese
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon ground allspice
finely grated zest 1 large lemon
sea salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Yoghurt sauce
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups thick plain yoghurt (not low-fat)
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 large egg, size 7, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon sea salt
Paprika butter
¼ cup butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground paprika
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
To serve
½ teaspoon dried mint
sprig fresh mint


Meatballs: Place all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a bowl, season generously and mix well. There will be little curds of cottage cheese in the mix. Roll the mixture into 24 balls.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the meatballs in a single layer and cook gently, turning to brown on all sides, until they’re just cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to a plate and cover to keep warm. Reserve the pan.

Yoghurt sauce: Pour off the fat from the pan, leaving any sticky bits, and place the pan back over the heat. Increase the heat and add the stock letting it bubble up for a few minutes and reduce by half.

Place 2 tablespoons of the yoghurt in a medium bowl and stir in the cornflour until smooth. Whisk in the egg, salt and the remaining yoghurt. Slowly start whisking in the hot stock then pour the yoghurt mixture into the pan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened a little, about 2 minutes. Don’t let it boil or it will curdle. Add the meatballs back to the pan and turn to coat in the sauce.

Paprika butter: Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and let them sizzle together for about 2 minutes until lightly toasted.

To serve: Place 6 meatballs in each serving bowl and spoon over the yoghurt sauce. Drizzle over the hot paprika butter and garnish with dried and fresh mint.