Herbed Persian Meatballs with Apricots




  1. PREP: Add the beef or lamb to a mixing bowl. Mince your onion and garlic: you want the onion to be about the same size as the garlic, so that you don’t get any raw chunks or larger pieces that will overwhelm the other flavors. Roughly chop the apricots. Add the onion, garlic, apricots and all other ingredients to the bowl along with the meat, including the additional oil or tallow, if using.
  2. MIX: Here’s where things get a little different. Put aside all your fears about “overworking” meat when prepping meatballs. You’re going to want to work all the ingredients into the meat evenly and then you’ll be tempted to stop when all the ingredients are evenly combined. But don’t stop there! These Persian inspired meatballs borrow the traditional technique of kneading or pummeling the meat mixture until the protein begins to break down and you get a silky smooth texture. So you’ll want to work the mixture for at least five minutes: I like to knead the mixture between my fingers into my palms, then alternate with punching the mixture down into the bottom of the bowl. You’ll know when you’re done when the mixture starts to get a little sticky and it will easily hold together as one smooth ball. Look at the photo in the post to see what I mean!
  3. ROLL: I use a 2 tbsp / 30 ml scoop or measuring cup to get even sized little meatballs here. Roll each meatball until it is smooth, flatten it slightly with the heel of your hand and place it on a plate; repeat until you have used up all the mixture. You should have 16 – 17 meatballs.
  4. COOK: Heat a large cast iron skillet over low to medium heat. You don’t want to crank the burner too high because the cast iron will retain the heat, so on my stovetop I have my burner set no higher than 4 out of 10 (with 10 being the highest heat setting). Add enough avocado oil, beef tallow or lamb tallow to the skillet to lightly and evenly coat the bottom. When the oil is hot but nowhere near smoking, add the meatballs. Cook, flipping once, until the meatballs are cooked, about 5 – 6 minutes per side. I like to use cast iron because it gives a lovely crust, but if you’re using a different cooking surface, you may need to increase the cooking time for them to brown evenly and cook through.
  5. SERVE: These Persian Meatballs pair perfectly with my Garlic & Artichoke Hummus, a scoop of coconut cream / coconut yogurt or a drizzle of pomegranate molasses. Just as good cold as they are hot, they will keep in the fridge for about three days.


The tablespoon measurement given for the Persian Seasoning is for the hand mixed, non-milled version. If you chose to grind it to a fine powder, the volume measurement will be inaccurate, so you will need to measure the seasoning blend by weight in grams, as stated.