I must admit I rarely take the time to make meatballs. I just don’t have the patience for them. These Spicy Beef and Lamb Kofta are the exception and are the only meatballs I make. Wikipedia describes Kofta as balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef, chicken, lamb, or pork—mixed with spices and/or onions. The flavor surpasses any ordinary meatball I have ever eaten, and they are well worth the effort. They remind me of my favorite meat filling inside of a Gyro.
These kofta are seasoned with onions, plenty of warm spices and jalapeno for a spicy bite. I use a 50/50 mixture of beef and lamb because the combination of those two flavors work well together. Using half lamb adds just enough lamb flavor without being overbearing. In a later post, I will show you how to turn these into a delicious pita wrap with all the fixins! For right now here is the recipe for the kofta.
- ⅓ cup packed parsley
- ¼ cup packed mint leaves
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1 small jalapeno, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 2½ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 tbsp of neutral oil (grapeseed, canola etc.)
- In a food processor combine all of the ingredients, except the beef and lamb. Puree until smooth. The mixture should be very finely pureed with no chunks.
- In a large bowl, add the beef, lamb, and onion mixture from the food processor. With two forks, shred and mix the meat and onion together. This helps combine the two meats and onion without making it tough; it keeps it light. Continue to mix until every thing is very well combined.
- Shape the kofta into torpedo-like fingers, about 3 inches (2 ounces each). Press the meat mixture to compress it. This helps to keep its shape and make it tight. Place the shaped kofta onto a sheet pan. When finished,you should have approximately 20-22 kofta.
- Preheat the oven to 425°.
- In a large pan (preferably cast iron) heat about 1 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Sear the kofta. Do this in batches so you don't crowd the pan (3 batches for me). Sear them on all sides until they develop a nice brown crust, a total of 6-7 minutes. Remove them from the pan and onto a clean baking sheet. Repeat until all koftas are seared, adding more oil as needed. Place the baking sheet with the seared koftas in the oven and cook for 4-6 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with your favorite starch and veggies.
More meat recipes here!