Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Grilled Moroccan Beef Kefta Kebabs with Tzatziki

Kefta is traditionally a meat mixture, often of beef or lamb, mixed with savoury spices like cumin, paprika, and even a bit of cinnamon for some warmth. There are hundreds of varieties of meatballs – kofta in Arabic and ktsitsot in Hebrew – each with its own unique heritage and specific preparation technique. You can form them into round meatballs, flat patties, thin fingers or more commonly, into torpedo-shaped kebabs that are perfect for wrapping up inside of a pita or serving with any kind of warm flatbread. In this Moroccan-inspired version, the ground beef is seasoned with a combination of spices, finely chopped onion and fresh herbs. Although some recipes suggest adding breadcrumbs or eggs to bind the mixture, it's not wholly traditional. Chilled for an hour or so before cooking, the kefta are grilled for 10-15 minutes over medium heat until just they're cooked through and beautifully golden brown. Served with flatbread or with quinoa, couscous or crunchy cucumber and tomato salad plus a heaping bowl of tzatziki or dill yogurt sauce, Kefta are healthy, delicious and bursting with flavour.

Moroccan Kefta Kebabs

Serves 4

1 lb ground beef or lamb, or combination of both

1 medium onion, very finely chopped or grated, then drained in a strainer
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp chopped mint leaves, plus extra for garnish

1 lemon cut into wedges
1/2 cup grapes and blueberries, optional
1 handful fresh mint
2 cups Tzatziki

Mix all of the kefta ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, and let sit for 1 hour or longer to allow the flavours to blend. To make the kebabs, shape small amounts of the meat mixture into cylinder or sausage shapes, then mold onto wooden or metal skewers. To barbecue outdoors, preheat the grill to medium-high and cook the kefta for about 10-12 minutes, or until nicely browned all over but still lovely and juicy on the inside. If you like your meat more well done, continue cooking on the grill until your preferred level of doneness. To serve, arrange the kefta on a warmed platter and garnish with fresh mint, lemon and assorted berries and grapes with a bowl of Tzatziki on the side.

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