Friday, June 15, 2018

Spiced Turkish-Style Grilled Beef Kofta (Meatball) Kebabs

According to Wiki, Kofta is "a family of meatball or meatloaf dishes found in South AsianMiddle EasternBalkan, and Central Asian cuisine. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef, chickenlamb, or pork—mixed with spices and/or onions." I took inspiration and adapted a recipe for kofta (koftesi) from the Turkish cookbook Sultan's Kitchen by Ozcan Ozan. I think I put too much of the meat mixture around the skewers first time around since they took an inordinate amount of time to cook on the grill, so I will adjust next time by using less meat on the skewers or perhaps even rolling the meat mixture into meatballs. Regardless of their form, these kebabs are redolent of spices and incredibly delicious, especially with a side Turkish Shepherd's salad.*

4 slices day old bread, crusts removed
1/3 cup milk

2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 small red or white onion, grated (about 1/4 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
2 tsp. ground Turkish red pepper or Aleppo pepper
1 tsp. ground sumac
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

*Turkish Shepherd's Salad

1. Place the bread with crusts removed into a bowl. Pour in milk and let soak to soften. 

2. In the meantime, soak some flat bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes (that way they won't burn on the grill). 

3. In the meantime, make the Turkish Shepherd's salad, cover, and set aside.

4. Add all the remaining ingredients to the softened bread and mix together gently (I use my hands with disposable gloves). Shape the mixture into 2" meatballs and skewer 3-4 on each skewer. You can also shape a handful of the meat mixture evenly around each skewer. 

5. Place the skewers on a grill rack and grill over medium high heat, turning over several times, until cooked through.

6. Serve with the Turkish Shepherd's salad on the side. Other good condiments are tahini-yogurt sauce and/or a chunky tomato sauce. 

Cut the crusts off the bread slices.

Soak the bread in 1/3 cup of milk. 

I used Kobe-style ground beef for the recipe, but you can substitute with regular ground beef (just not the super lean variety).  

Ground cumin, black pepper, salt, sweet paprika, Aleppo pepper and ground Turkish sumac.

Add all the ingredients together with the ground beef. 

 Stir the mixture together gently until blended through. 
Here I formed a handful of the meat mixture around each skewer. Do not put on too much meat or it will take too long to cook. You can also form the meat into meatballs before skewering. 

 Place the skewers on a grill rack and grill over medium high heat, turning over several times, until cooked through.
 Serve with some Turkish Shepherd's salad on the side. 

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