Coclo, Algerian Big Meatballs

These Algerian meatballs, are fun to eat, as they are two huge balls sitting on a mound of grain, rice or cous cous! They disrupt the common notion that each has his own meatballs, and push us to split the meatballs between those we are sharing the meal with. Children will definitely enjoy this dish; if you want to make it even more child friendly don't put so many herbs!

No votes yet


1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup rice
1 garlic head
1 medium egg, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground bay leaf
1/8 tsp ground mace
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, tied in a bundle
3/4 cup water


  • Finely chop or mince the garlic
  • Cut the onion in brunoise

1. Mix beef, rice, garlic, egg, salt, bay leaf, mace, pepper, thyme and olive oil together well. Shape into 2 large meatballs.

2. Put onion, cilantro and water in a pan. Add meatballs. Cover pan and simmer over low heat for 2 hours or a bit more.

3. Remove and discard cilantro. Serve with rice or couscous.

* Adapted from The Great Book of Couscous by Copeland Marks