Recipe courtesy of Oliver Andreini

Cauliflower-Stuffed Meatball Ragout in Spicy Tomato Sauce (Tunisian Mubattan Bruklu)

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 35 min
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Cook: 50 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Share This Recipe

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

6 cups olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying

1 medium-sized head cauliflower (about 1 pound)

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, lamb, or veal

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons tabil (a Tunisian spice blend of coriander seed, caraway seed, garlic powder, cayenne pepper)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs beaten

All-purpose unbleached flour, as needed, for dredging

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoons harisa (Tunisian hot chili paste of guajillo chili peppers, garlic, oil, caraway, and coriander)

1/2 teaspoon ground red chili

Directions

  1. Preheat frying oil in a deep-fryer or 8-inch deep saucepan to 375 degrees F.
  2. Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the whole cauliflower until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well and break into small florets.
  3. Place the meat, onion, cinnamon, parsley, tabil, salt, and pepper in a food processor, in batches if necessary, and process until well blended. Remove to a bowl.
  4. Have a bowl of water handy to keep your hands wet while making meatballs. Meatballs are formed by flattening a lemon-sized portion of meat into a thin patty and wrapping the patty around a cauliflower floret to completely enclose. Form into an oval shape, then dip into the eggs and dredge in flour, tapping off any excess flour.
  5. Cook the meatballs in oil until golden, about 4 minutes, without crowding the fryer. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper toweling to drain.
  6. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Dissolve the tomato paste in the water, and add to the pan along with harisa and ground red chili. Add the meatballs and cook covered until most of the liquid evaporates, about 25 minutes. Add a little water to rehydrate sauce if it is dries out before that time. Serve meatballs covered with sauce.

Fudge Factor

Over-the-Top-Delicious Treats to Satisfy Your Food Obsession

Are you infatuated with ice cream? Do you lust over lobster? Swoon at the sight of chocolate? Here's the best recipe for each food …

Train Frontman Pat Monahan's Dark Chocolate Obsession Feb 11, 2013

By: Cameron Curtis

Train frontman Pat Monahan, an avid chocolate lover, shared with us his top five reasons for eating dark chocolate.

Review: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert's Chocolate Bar Nov 16, 2012

Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert have teamed up with master chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create the "Good & Evil" chocolate b …

The Craziest Chocolate Creations for American Chocolate Week Mar 17, 2013

It’s officially American Chocolate Week. Check out photos of mind-blowing chocolate creations.

Sifted: Plan-Ahead Valentine's Day Desserts Feb 6, 2013

By: Lauren Miyashiro

Get our take on the best in food news, recipes and more from around the web, including the best Valentine's Day recipes.

Chocolate Desserts

Indulge in our decadent chocolate desserts, from cookies and cakes to puddings, souffles and truffles.

Essentials: Chocolate Basics Sep 1, 2016

Satisfy that chocolate craving in your very own kitchen. All you need is baking chocolate and a little know-how. It also helps to …

How to Chop and Melt Chocolate

Lots of recipes call for melted chocolate. Follow these step-by-step instructions to do it properly.