Grilled Ground Lamb Kebabs

  • A kofta is heavily spiced ground meat -- usually lamb or beef or a combination of the two -- that's been molded into sausage-like oblongs, grilled on skewers, and served with a garlicky tahini/yogurt sauce in a pita pocket or flatbread.

    A kofta is heavily spiced ground meat -- usually lamb or beef or a combination of the two -- that's been molded into sausage-like oblongs, grilled on skewers, and served with a garlicky tahini/yogurt sauce in a pita pocket or flatbread. Sara Moulton/Associated Press

 
Posted6/7/2016 6:00 AM

For the kofta:

½ cup finely chopped onion

 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing on the meat

2 teaspoons minced garlic

½ pound ground beef

½ pound ground lamb

1½ teaspoons paprika, preferably hot smoked

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup minced parsley

For the sauce:

1/3 cup tahini, stirred well

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon minced garlic

Four 6-inch pitas with pockets, ¼ of the top cut off to form pocket

Shredded romaine lettuce for garnish

Hot sauce for garnish

In a medium skillet, cook the onion in the oil over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and chill until it comes to room temperature.

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In a food processor, combine the cooled onion mixture, the beef, lamb, paprika, cumin, salt, allspice and pepper and pulse the mixture until it forms a paste and is tacky to the touch. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the parsley. This recipe calls for a succulent mix of lamb and beef, but you're welcome to go all one way or the other.

Divide the meat mixture into 8 equal portions and shape each portion into a log around a skewer, about 5-inches long and 1-inch wide. Cover and chill the skewered meat for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a medium bowl whisk together the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and 3 tablespoons water, adding additional water if necessary to achieve a pourable consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the grill to medium. Lightly oil the meat on both sides and grill it, turning often for about 6 minutes or until it Is firm to the touch and cooked through. Pull the meat off the skewers and transfer two logs to each of 4 pitas. Top the meat with one fourth of the sauce and some shredded lettuce and serve with the hot sauce on the side. Serves 4

Nutrition information per serving: 482 calories; 255 calories from fat; 28 g fat (7 g saturated fat; 1 g trans fat); 74 mg cholesterol; 722 mg sodium; 25 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 32 g protein.

Sara Moulton

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