Kofta – Lebanese Meatloaf
We have had a lot of relatives in town lately and it seems to have gone non-stop in terms of get togethers, typically surround by food and wine. Don’t get me wrong, I love these times as they include great stories, laughter, and result in exhaustion. You know you had a great day when those feelings occur. As my wife’s uncle paid us a recent visit from the Philipines, I had asked him what I could cook for him, what his favorite dish was, and he came back with ‘meatloaf’. Unfortunately, based on everyone’s schedule, I was unable to have him over for a meatloaf dinner, however, the thought of meatloaf did not escape me.
Sure, I have made some really flavorful meatloaf in the past, however upon my most recent quest to fulfill flavors of the middle east, I quickly thought of making meatloaf, but on a stick, and packed, I mean, packed with some great flavors.
If you never had kofta, now is the time. Really easy to put together, and a dish that has simple ingredients, it will be a sure hit at your dinner table. Plus, with kofta, you can shape it into patties, balls, a loaf, or heck, put it on a stick like I did and serve it with fresh pita bread, and tzatziki sauce.
- 2 lbs of ground lamb (You could use 1lb of beef and 1 lb of lamb as well)
- 1 large onion, rough chop
- 1 bunch of parsley, approximately 3/4 cup, chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp of allspice (or use 1/2 tsp each of ground cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg)
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- pinch of salt
- pinch of black pepper
- 1/4 cup of plain breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- wooden skewers, soaked in water for 45 minutes
- sheet of aluminum foil
To a food processor, pulse down the parsley, onion, and garlic. Add this mixture to a large bowl, and add in the ground lamb. I like to mix my dry spices before adding them to a mixture like this. Doing this make sure that you don’t get a clump of paprika, lets say, in your meat mixture. Toss everything into the bowl, and mix really well to incorporate everything. I like to place this in the refrigerator at this point, and let the skewers soad. This assures me a nice marination time, and allows it to setup before I place them on the skewers.
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. During this time, wet your hands with a bit of water, or oil, and get a nice handufl of the mixture, and wrap it around the skewer, into a loaf shape, about halfway down the skewer. Repeat this process.
When you are ready, line the front of the grill with aluminum foil as this will protect the other half of the skewer, preventing them from burning. Carefully place these on the grill and cook four about five minutes or so on each side. You will notice when you turn, using a spatula to preven any tearing and reducing the risk of having the skewer come out, that you get some really great color on the meat. When you are ready, present them on a serving dish, and serve with a nice tzatziki sauce, and place on some fresh homemade pita bread.
One word on this guys. Yum.