I went to get meat at Sendiks because I was creeped out by the filthy conditions at Metro Market (I’m sure I will get over that but I was really impressed with Sendiks, I haven’t been there for meat in years) and besides turkey thighs, they had ground lamb. Kefte time!! Perfect diet food. No carbs. (or gluten, dairy, or, for that matter, alcohol). And a personal favorite. Although, I had to eat it with lettuce tzatsiki (not that there is such a thing, but it was OK) because real tzatsiki is made with yogurt and I have had no diary this month.
It’s really kind of a process but easily done in a processor. It helps that the proportions are practically irrelevant. For that matter the ingredients are pretty imaginary too. Ground meat. Some green herbs and the North African spices and, bam. To quote that idiot Emeril. In the event, I also needed spices so this occasioned a trip to the Spice House (love that place) something I’d do more often if parking wasn’t an issue. There’s also their arcane method of labeling everything by hand and writing out each and every receipt. Shoot me. It took longer to buy the spices than it did to make these.
Like bolognese sauce, get out the processor and it will be over before you can spell kofte, if you can spell it.
Adapted hideously loosely from Cook’s Complicated, er, Illustrated
1.5 pounds of ground lamb
Cilantro, mint, parsley
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 ish walnuts
1 tsp each
ground coriander, cumin, cardamom
Cumin seeds, caraway seeds
1 packet gelatin
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 small can tomato paste
cup or so of chicken broth, red wine, whatever
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Get out that food processor
Pulse the herbs to small bits, not a paste, put in bowl
Pulse the nuts to pieces, put in same bowl
Pulse the garlic to bits, then the onions, ditto on the bowl
Heat up the sices in a dry frying pan to bring out their flavor, or not.
I don’t care. Put them in that bowl too, tempered (the dry hot pan thing) or not.
Put 1/2 of the lamb in the processor and 1/2 of the crap in the bowl in it, too.
Sprinkle the gelatin over it all, add salt and pepper
and process until it’s just incorporated.
Take that out and hand mix with the rest of the meat and the stuff in the bowl.
Personally I hate getting my hands in there.
But you gotta, and you have to get your hands into it twice
because you have to shape them as well.
Let the mixture chill for at least an hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 425
In the meantime, cut up the peppers into strips, and the onion into wedges and caramelize them
Add the tomato paste and caramelize, now add the stock or wine or whatever.
Add the cinnamon salt and pepper.
Make the kefte logs (more hand-mixing/shaping) and roast 15 minutes
and dump into the sauce. Let simmer at least 30 minutes.
Serve with Tzatsiki. You can look that recipe up yourself. This was hard enough to type up.