I’m going to let you in on my secret recipe, the one meal that is super easy to cook and super easy to eat a shit-ton of too. This works best as the autumn nights draw in, and although it’s only September and was 32 degrees only a couple of days ago, I adore autumn and am trying to bring it on early just by sheer force of will, autumn clothing and warming recipes. It’s also really good if you’re feeling sad/heartbroken/homesick/generally sorry for yourself.
This meal was cooked for us when my brother and I went to stay with some of his old uni friends in London, a good few years before we both ended up moving here ourselves. My brother’s friends Ollie and Fi cooked it – with the story that one, or both of them, I can’t remember, had first tasted this recipe whilst traveling in Morocco. Apparently this sort of food is served in bus stations across the country, hence the name: Bus Station Kofta. I’m not even going to talk exact quantites here, because this recipe is so easy and relaxed it really doesn’t matter.
Packet of lamb mince
Chopped onion (optional)
2-3 tins of chopped tomatoes
Basically, make the meatballs by mushing together the lamb, breadcrumbs, and a fair sprinkling of cinnamon. You can use onion if you want here but I find it makes the meatballs fall apart too easily in the pan. You can also use an egg to bind them but as lamb mince is quite moist anyway I don’t think it really needs it. The breadcrumbs are to bind the meatballs too – I usually use one or two bits of bread (the ends work better, or if it’s slightly stale), but again sometimes you don’t even need this. Either put it all in a big bowl and mash together, or use a blender to mix it all up. Then form into as many little meatballs as you can – about ping-pong ball sized normally works well.
Heat up some olive oil in a big pan and brown the meatballs, rolling them occasionally with a small spoon so that they’re evenly cooked. A big sauté pan with a lid is best for this.
Once the meatballs are browned all over, pour in the tinned tomatoes, adding another good sprinkling of cinnamon and a handful of chopped coriander, mixing it all in.
Allow to cook for a bit, keep the heat so it’s just bubbling nicely. About 5 minutes or so later, make a few hollows in the sauce and crack in one egg per person. Cover the pan with a lid and allow the eggs to poach.
Once the eggs are done serve with chunks of warm crusty bread (homemade is better), lashings of chopped coriander, and, if you’re feeling healthy, some salad.