Beef & Lamb Meatball Stew

  • 500g ground beef and lamb (50/50)
  • 2 onions (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 small pieces of white bread soaked in a glass of milk
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 handfuls of dried prunes
  • 8 branches of fresh marjoram
  • salt, pepper
  • pinch of caraway seeds
  • secret ingredient: 4 small lamb cutlets (450g; with bone)

First pour yourself a glass of fine Australian Shiraz/Cabernet '06 to fight the winter blues off. Remember, you're making a hearty and joyful dish!

  1. Prepare the mince.
    Mix ground meat, eggs, bread (along with milk), onions, garlic and pepper thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. Add secret ingredient.
    Wash and pat dry the lamb cutlets. Heat oil in large pot and brown cutlets on both sides.
  3. Slice carrot (halve the slices if too large) and add to the pot. Reduce heat to medium, add boiling water (3 fingers above carrots).
  4. Add meat balls.
    Form lemon-sized meat balls. Remember to constantly dip your hands in cold water - they won't stick. Throw them one by one into the bubbling water. Add fresh marjoram and salt to taste. Cover and simmer.
  5. After 30 min. add 3/4 of the prunes and simmer for another 30 min.
  6. Peel the potatoes and slice them to bite-sized pieces, or any way you like. Check if there's enough liquid to boil potatoes; if not then add more boiling water (just enough to cover potatoes). Add potato pieces and sprinkle them with caraway seeds. Cover and simmer for 30 min.
  7. Add remaining prunes, wait until they are ready and serve. Enjoy with that same wine!
  • If you decide to skip the cutlets, you'll lose significant portion of fragrant lamb aroma, as well as fat - might be a leaner option (but less fragrant too).
  • Be careful with oil, as the lamb releases lots of fat. Might be a good idea to brown the cutlets in no oil at all.
  • Feel free to add more marjoram - it will only improve the aroma.
  • Add fresh rosemary as well - it is lamb's best friend! Same with oregano.
  • Goes well with pickled cucumbers.