Lamb, Mint and Cumin Meatballs “Omne Trium Perfectum”

No, not a virus or a spelling error. “Omne trium perfectum” is the Latin for “Good things come in threes.” and we all know that if it’s old enough to be in Latin, there must be some truth to it.

This recipe for Lamb, Mint and Cumin Meatballs kind of proves the rule (as long as you ignore the supporting ingredients. While I’m at it, I’m showing two other recipes too. It’s best to do three, I hear.

Ingredients (for 5 people, 3 meatballs each, of course)

  • 1.25 kilos of minced lamb (neck is good)
  • 1tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 generous handful of mint leaves
  • 1 generous handful of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

Ingredients (for mint yoghurt)

  • 1 generous handful of mint leaves
  • 250ml of natural yoghurt

Ingredients (for tasty couscous)

  • 200 gms couscous
  • 1 handful of green beans
  • 1 handful of spring onions
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper

Method for the meatballs

Heat a frying pan and add the cumin seeds. Toast them until they are a nice deep brown colour.  Let tehm cool a little before bashing them to a dust in a mortar.

My pouring shots come in threes today too (or should that be three).

Chop the garlic, mint and parsley up nice and small. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix well. Leave the mixture to stand in a cool place to allow the flavours meld.

There is lots of lovely flavour going on here.

Make the meatballs up by hand. Mine weighed about 90 grammes each. I managed to make 15 allowing a small amount for a quick taste test. A test that proved the efficacy of the recipe.

Three sets of three. I wonder what the Latin is for that.

Brown the meatballs on a pan with a little oil. Then you can set them aside while you make the other parts of this trio of tastiness. When it comes to it, give them 20 minutes in a 200ºC/400ºF oven.

These will be finished in the oven.

Method for the couscous

Follow the pack instructions for the couscous itself. In this case, it involved pouring it into a saucepan of hot water and boiling for 12 minutes. Queue the pouring shot.

I am really proud of this shot. The detail in the couscous is pretty spectacular.

Chop up the green beans nice and small and give them 1 minute in the microwave. This will take the edge off without overcooking them. Chop up the chilli and spring onions.

Did I say pour in the olive oil?

When you have drained the couscous, add all the other ingredients. Stir this well, cover and leave it to one side. This will need a spell in the microwave later, if you like it hot or not if you like it cold. I like both.

Method for the minted yoghurt. 

Do you really need instructions?

Come on! There are two ingredients. There is a big clue in the photograph and I am not going to spoon feed you. Though, I did spoon lots of the minted yoghurt over the meatballs.

The proof of the old saying is in the eating. Proof positive.

When the meatballs are cooked through (remember that oven step), serve them on top of the couscous and under the minted yoghurt. This is a triumph of threes. The three mini recipes go so well together. It’s proof positive of the truth of the old Latin. “Omne Trium (really is) Perfectum”. Give it a go and enjoy it.


Written by
Latest comments
  • Just to say how much I enjoy your blog. Brightens up my already good day, but often makes me laugh more than usual. Your photos as fantastic and all the recipes I have tried are delicious. A big thank you.

  • Sister Gregory’s Latin has stuck with me. Triplex tres is threefold three, or three sets of three. And my word, you’re certainly on song with those pouring shots today – I particularly like the couscous and olive oil ones. Anything made with minced lamb is great, and this is no exception.

  • An absolute yes for me! In a totally retro way have hand-written the gorgeous meatball and couscous recipes as post-its now stuck above my kitchen prep table to copy by tomorrow ! The minted yoghurt gets made just about every week anyways ! Three meatballs each – you have to be kidding . . . 🙂 ! Think this combo will be a real keeper. Meanwhile hoping for fine weather, good lungs and strong legs on your journey south . . . any progress photos here or on Instagram ?

  • Is that a Bofin record for the number of pouring shots? I enjoy your photography almost as much as I enjoy your food. Thumbs up, as ever. Lx

  • Que rico! I’m sure they were delicious.

  • I sometimes like to stop by and go through your old post like I would going through one of my favorite cookbooks. I felt I needed some inspiration for what to cook in this next week or so and this meal will do nicely.

Join the conversation, you know you want to....

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: