This easy, one dish meal can be prepped ahead of time and left in the fridge until you're ready to cook it. Ground beef (kefta) meatballs are seasoned with Moroccan spices and cooked in a skillet with saffron-flavored rice. Adjust the seasonings to your own family's preferences.
Serves four to six.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
- 1/2 kg (1 1lb. 3 oz.) ground beef
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- salt and pepper
- 2/3 cup plus 1 cup long grain rice
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 4 or 5 saffron threads, crushed (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar (optional)
Thoroughly mix the ground beef with the cumin, paprika, cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Blend in 2/3 cup rice (uncooked). Shape into golf-ball sized meatballs.
In a large deep frying pan that has a lid, or in a Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for a few minutes, until the onions and garlic begin to soften. (Be careful not to burn the garlic.) Add the meatballs and brown them on all sides. Push the meatballs to the sides of the pan.
Add the 1 cup of uncooked rice to the middle of the pan along with the parsley, saffron, turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. (At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the dish until ready to cook.)
Add the chicken stock and water. Over medium-high heat, bring the liquids to a simmer. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the meatballs and rice for 35 to 40 minutes, until most of the liquids are absorbed and the rice is tender. Halfway through cooking, gently turn over the meatballs and stir the rice. If desired, add the lemon juice or vinegar to the reducing sauce during the last 10 minutes of simmering.
Transfer the rice and meatballs to a large platter and serve immediately.