Ground beef gets fancy here! Oohs and aahs are guaranteed when you serve these spiced meatballs on a cinnamon stick. They are a ton of fun to eat (no fork needed) and look absolutely stunning on a party platter, served with bright green tahini. Swap the beef with lamb or ground turkey, and consider serving them as a plated appetizer for a dinner party, too.
Recipe courtesy of The Flexible Chef Cookbook.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 30 cinnamon sticks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, for frying
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/3 cup chopped pine nuts, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- Green Tahini, for serving
1. Soak the cinnamon sticks in water for at least 15 minutes, preferably one hour, to avoid burning them when baking.
2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, cook the onions, stirring, until translucent, for about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, zucchini, and garlic and cook until softened and cooked through, for about 10 minutes, or until soft and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper, then set the veggies aside to cool. (I like to taste and season as I go.)
3. In a medium mixing bowl, season the beef with cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix in the parsley, eggs, and the cooked veggies. Add the pine nuts and cayenne pepper, if desired.
4. Chill the mixture for one hour (or less if you’re in a pinch) to firm up the beef mixture before shaping.
5. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet with oil.
6. Roll about 2 tablespoons of the chilled beef into an oval and shape and mold it onto the cinnamon stick, leaving the bottom part of the stick free as a handle.
7. Arrange the beef sticks on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.