Turkish Kofte

While traveling in Istanbul I ate in several restaurants where there was a huge wood-fired grill, and the chefs had skewer rods 3-feet long packed with kofte.  They are similar to similar to meatballs, but shaped around a metal skewer and grilled over fire.  These are abundant with flavor due to the fresh herbs and spices.  If you don’t want to cook them over a fire, you can form the meat into 3”-long shapes and cook them under the broiler in your oven.


1/2 pound ground lamb
1/2 pound ground beef
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
2 tsp sumac (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. hot paprika

Method: Heat a grill to medium high heat or heat oven broiler to high.  In a bowl, combine all ingredients until evenly incorporated.  Divide mixture into 8 portions.  Starting at least 3 inches from the sharp end of a metal skier, form the meat around the skewer into a sausage shop about 4 inches long.  Flatten the meat against the skewer to secure it.  Place the skewers on grill and cook about 4 minutes.  Turn, and cook another 3-4 minutes, or until kofta is no longer pink in the middle.  Serve with yogurt and flatbread.

MainsEvan Wei-Haas