Friday, August 12, 2011

Iftar Ideas: Lebanese Kafta

This post is dedicated to my dear friend Aby, who just had a baby on August 6th! Congratulations, habibti, and here is your long-awaited kafta recipe!

I don't know what it is about kafta, but pretty much every culture has their own version of it! I actually found the Wikipedia article about kafta very interesting. Call me crazy, but...

Anyhow, so here is my recipe for the Lebanese version of kafta. One of my favourite things to eat!

You will need the following ingredients for this recipe:

-1kg (approximately 2¼lbs) ground beef and/or lamb
-2 medium onions
-1 bunch parsley
-salt and pepper
-pinch ground cloves

We're going to start by talking about your ground beef. I used beef for this recipe because I don't generally care for the taste of ground lamb. So.

If you want this to work well, it's going to have to be minced. So, lay out your beef on a cutting board, take your trusty santoku knife (or something similar, but a santoku knife is the best), and mince up that meat. It will take a good few minutes, but it's worth it in the end.

Next step is to clean your santoku knife. Why? Because it is definitely the best knife to use to mince your onions and garlic. Maybe it's because I'm a slight person without much strength, or maybe it's because it's actually hard, but I worked up a sweat mincing the onions and parsley! Mince it up as small as you can without turning it into a mush.

Season the beef with your salt, pepper and pinch of cloves and then dump it onto the beef. Remember, this is an entire kilo of meet, so be generous!

Next, take your minced onion and parsley and dump it onto the seasoned mean and mix it up. Sorry to the squeemish - this has to be done by hand.
Perfectly minced and mixed ball of meat!

Okay, next you'll need some shish kebab sticks. This recipe will not be cooked over an open flame, so there's no need to soak them.

Take a large handful of the meat and roll it into a ball and skewer it with the shish kebab stick.
Then take it and roll it out into a large sausage shape. Once you have rolled all the meat into this shape, cook them a few at a time on a barbecue plate or a tawa.
Turn them regularly. You may need the help of a spatula so they don't fall apart. Don't overcook - they should be cooked through, but still moist on the inside. This goes great with thoom (Arab garlic sauce - recipe coming soon!).

My husband and I had leftovers the day after we ate this. We had a kafta rolled up in pita bread with thoom, hummus and tomatoes.

The night we ate this, however, we just served it with a salad, thoom and tomatoes. Very, very good, either way.




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