Lamb Meatballs with Couscous, Pickled Onions, and Tahini
By :Mediterranean Instant Pot Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen
instant pot lamb recipe, instant pot meatball recipe, instant pot couscous recipe, instant pot recipe
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Why this recipe works: Tahini, a potent paste made from toasted sesame seeds, has a texture similar to natural peanut butter. Apart from its being a core ingredient in hummus, we love it in our drizzle-friendly Tahini Sauce. We wanted this sauce to take center stage, so we made it do double duty by mixing it with bread crumbs as a riff on a panade (typically made from bread pieces soaked and mashed in milk or yogurt and then mixed into meatballs to keep them moist) and also spooning it over the finished meatballs on a bed of warmly spiced couscous with roasted red peppers and pickled onions. Lamb’s robust grassy flavor was a perfect companion to tahini’s smooth nuttiness. The meatballs cooked in just 1 minute under pressure, and as they rested separately, we simply stirred the couscous into the remaining liquid and allowed it to cook in the residual heat and absorb the bold and delicious flavors. You can substitute an equal amount of 85 percent lean ground beef for the lamb, if desired.
instant pot lamb recipe, instant pot meatball recipe, instant pot couscous recipe, instant pot recipe
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
4 servings
Ingredients
Lamb Meatballs and Couscous Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Tahini Sauce divided, see below for instructions
  • 3 tbsp panko bread crumbs
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint divided
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon divided
  • 1 tsp ground cumin divided
  • 3/4 tsp table salt divided
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped fine
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth plus extra as needed
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
  • 1 tbsp teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1juice
  • 1/3 cup Quick Pickled Onions see below for instructions
Tahini Sauce Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
Quick Pickled Onions Ingredients
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp table salt
  • 1 red onion halved and sliced thin through root end
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
4 servings
Ingredients
Lamb Meatballs and Couscous Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Tahini Sauce divided, see below for instructions
  • 3 tbsp panko bread crumbs
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint divided
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon divided
  • 1 tsp ground cumin divided
  • 3/4 tsp table salt divided
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped fine
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth plus extra as needed
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
  • 1 tbsp teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1juice
  • 1/3 cup Quick Pickled Onions see below for instructions
Tahini Sauce Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
Quick Pickled Onions Ingredients
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp table salt
  • 1 red onion halved and sliced thin through root end
instant pot lamb recipe, instant pot meatball recipe, instant pot couscous recipe, instant pot recipe
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Tahini Sauce Instructions
  1. Whisk all Tahini sauce ingredients in bowl until smooth (mixture will appear broken at first). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days; bring to room temperature before serving.)
Quick Pickled Onions Instructions
  1. Microwave vinegar, sugar, and salt in medium bowl until simmering, 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and let sit, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Drain onion and return to now-empty bowl. (Drained onions can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.)
Lamb Meatballs and Couscous
  1. Using fork, mash 1/4 cup Tahini Sauce and panko together in bowl to form paste. Add ground lamb, 2 tablespoons mint, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and knead with hands until thoroughly combined. Pinch off and roll mixture into twelve 1 1/2 inch meatballs.
  2. Using highest Sauté function, heat oil in Instant Pot until shimmering. Add onion and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, scraping up any browned bits. Add meatballs to pot. Lock lid in place and close pressure release valve. Select Pressure Cook function and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Turn off Instant Pot and quick-release pressure. Carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you. Using slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to plate, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest while cooking couscous. (You should have about 2 cups cooking liquid remaining in pot; add extra broth as needed to equal 2 cups.)
  4. Using highest Sauté function, bring liquid in pot to simmer. Stir in couscous, red peppers, and lemon zest and juice. Turn off Instant Pot, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff couscous gently with fork and transfer to serving dish. Arrange meatballs on top and drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup Tahini Sauce. Sprinkle with pickled onions and remaining 2 tablespoons mint. Serve.
Recipe Notes

*Pressure Cook and Manual buttons are interchangeable

4 replies
  1. JH453
    JH453 says:

    Loved this recipe! The pickled onions were especially good with it. Next time I may add more spice and mint.

  2. Tessa
    Tessa says:

    I used pearl (Israeli) couscous. If you use that, I suggest doing at least 1.5 cups of it and you will need a lot more liquid-probably another cup and a half.

  3. Amos Vered
    Amos Vered says:

    1 minute was not sufficient to cook lamb meatballs, they were raw in the core. Looks like 3 minutes does the trick. Also think rolling the meatballs in sauteed mode with a little olive oil after they are cooked would leave a nice brown fried crust on them.

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