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Lamb meatballs with tomato, butter beans and bacon

by Sarah Alcock

Serves: 6

Serve with couscous, rice, mashed potatoes or pasta.

The recipe is taken from Peter Gordon Everyday by Peter Gordon, published by Jacqui Small, £25


  • 800g minced lean lamb
  • 1 tsp dried mint (or 1 tbsp shredded fresh mint)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 100g flour
  • vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 200g bacon lardons (or thickly sliced streaky bacon, diced)
  • 750ml tomato passata (or diced or chopped peeled tomatoes)
  • 1 x 400g tin butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • chopped parsley, to garnish


  1. In a large bowl, mix the lamb, mint and carrot with 4 tablespoons of cold water, 1 scant teaspoon of salt and plenty of coarsely ground black pepper.
  2. Divide the mixture into four even-sized portions, then divide each portion into six. Roll into balls and toss in the flour to coat.
  3. Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wide, deep, flameproof pan. Brown the meatballs in batches, transferring them to a plate using a slotted spoon. You may need to add a little more oil to the pan as you go.
  4. Once the last batch of meatballs has been transferred to the plate, add the garlic, rosemary leaves and onion to the pan and cook until caramelised, stirring frequently and scraping the cooked bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the bacon and cook over a moderate heat, stirring frequently, until golden.
  6. Add the passata, butter beans and 200ml water. Bring to the boil, stirring.
  7. Return the meatballs to the bubbling sauce, stirring gently as you do. If the meatballs aren’t completely covered by the sauce, top up the pan with hot water.
  8. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer rapidly for 25 minutes.
  9. Check the seasoning, then serve the meatballs scattered with chopped parsley.


For this recipe, you can use canned butter beans as it is much quicker to make. 

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