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Iraqi Meatballs with Rice and Potatoes

My family routes are from Eastern Europe so I never got to experience much of the genuine Middle eastern cooking.  I’ve only enjoyed it when mothers of my friends would cook.  Any one pot dish is great comfort food in my opinion and this is definitely one of them.  I was debating whether or not to put up a picture because I know it may not look very appetizing but trust me, it tastes so much better than it looks!


  • 400 grams of ground meat (I used a mixture of beef and pork)
  • 1.5 chopped onions
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • About a handful of chopped parsley
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes (fresh tomatoes work too if you’ve got the time)
  • 6 potatoes – sliced into cubes
  • 2 tsp. of Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. Black pepper
  • 2 tbsp.  cumin
  • 1 tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • ½ liter of boiling water
  • ½ cup of rice- give it a good rinse (I used Jasmine)
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 2 tbsp.  hot paprika 


In a large mixing bowl, mix 1 chopped onion, 5 chopped garlic cloves and the chopped parsley.

Add the spices: 2 tsp. of sea salt, 1 tbsp. of black pepper, 2 tsp. of cumin, 2 tsp. of paprika and the rice – Mix well!

With your hands (slightly wet) make medium sized balls.

In a big pot set on low heat, add the olive oil.  Place the meatballs in the pot and fry it for 2-3 minutes.  Add the water, ½ of the chopped onion, 3 chopped garlic cloves, hot paprika, salt and cumin – turn up the stove to high heat.

Add the cubed  potatoes. Taste the mix – see if you need to add more salt

Add the chopped tomatoes and mix – turn back to low heat.

After 30 min  -add the tomato paste.

Cook on low heat for 1-1.5 hours – for the last 45 minutes of cooking time – take the lid off so the sauce will thicken.



Beef with Carrots and Potatoes

A classic Jamie Oliver recipe! It is sooooooo good! It took me about an hour, just because I was kind of frazzled at first and I was very nervous about cooking the meat, I didn’t want to overcook it but it came out really yummy. If I can cook it…anyone can

Serves two


500g little skinned potatoes
4 twigs of fresh thyme or rosemary (grounded is fine too)
1 bulb of garlic

fresh rosemary and thyme (I  forget to buy fresh ones, I was too lazy to go back to the supermarket so I used  the grounded ones)
700g fillet of beef ( I used Porterhouse but sirloin works too)

About 500g small carrots
fresh thyme (again , I went grounded)
1 tablespoon brown  sugar
1 tablespoon of butter gravy:
½ an onion, chopped

1 tablespoon  flour
1 small wineglass of red wine
1 ¼ cup chicken stock
a bit of butter

Here’s what you do:

Wash the potatoes and leave the skin on. Chop in half and toss into the pot. Cover with boiling water, season with salt and cover with a lid. Turn the heat to high and let it boil for about 5 minutes (you don’t want it soft)

Drain the potatoes and toss them on a baking tray.add over some olive oil, season with salt , and some rosemary. Toss in some garlic and let it roast in the oven at 200 degrees (about 20-30 minutes- I have a toaster oven so I needed about 40 minutes)

Now time for the carrots. Add the carrots in a little pot and cover with water. Add  thyme, pinch of salt, some olive oil and the sugar.  Cook with a lid on until soft.  Drain once ready.

Now for the scary part…The meat!

Cut the fillet in half and then add all the herbs, salt and pepper to it, really get them soaked , each side should be coated nicely, you should really see the grains of sea salt on it.

Add some olive oil to a very hot pan. Place the meat on the pan. You really want to aim for a medium rare, cook for 2 minutes on each side – I was getting nervous that it was getting to be more then medium rare so I covered it with aluminum and let it finish cooking in a heated toaster oven for about 3 minutes.

Now for the fun part: The gravy!

When the meat is off of the pan, you have all those amazing  juices in there from the meat, add some chopped onion and oil, and mix it . Add the flour and keep mixing (I usually dissolve the flour in some water before and then add it to the pan to prevent those lumps of flour) …finally add the red wine. Cook to a boil and add the chicken stock, taste it and add the butter (really only a little bit)

Back to the carrots, pour them back into their little pot, add some butter and let it cook for a minute. Take the potatoes out and you’re ready to serve.

Slice the beef and pour the gravy over