Kafta (Lebanese Beef Kebabs) with Yogurt Mint Dip

Another great night from my October Dinner Menu! One week in and it’s already been worth the effort to have our meals planned ahead. These meatballs (or kebabs if you choose to make them that way) are just amazing. The spice combination is incredible and it really makes a meal just as itself with the cool yogurt dip for the perfect palate compliment. I made these mild as far as heat goes as Aurelia and I weren’t feeling all that adventurous tonight, but if you are, try adding a hot pepper minced or up the cayenne. Try the recipe with different meat and play with the fresh vs dried herbs. Don’t have fresh mint? That’s ok. Use dried, but use fresh parsley instead of dried then. The sun dried tomatoes are a bit unexpected and really bring the flavors to another level. It’s a lot going on, so don’t feel the need to stick these in a pita and make it more complicated. Just eat straight away and hot!

Adapted from Saveur

1 1/3 pound ground beef (lamb, goat, or turkey would work great, too)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 3)
1/4 cup fresh mint (or 1 Tbs dried)
1 clove garlic
2 Tbs dried parsley
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 yellow onion, grated, drained in a strainer

In a food processor, mix together the garlic, mint, sun dried tomatoes, salt, and spices until well combined. In a large bowl, stir together beef, the drained onion, and the spice mixture from the food processor. Form 1 tablespoon beef mixture each around the end of 22 skewers, or do as I did and just make them tablespoon sized meatballs. Grill over medium high heat on a grill or over medium heat in an oiled skillet on the stove. Turn the meat half way through cooking, until lightly charred top and bottom, about 4 minutes. Serve with tzatziki or the simple yogurt dip recipe below.

Yogurt Mint Dip

1 cup plain greek yogurt
1 tsp finely minced mint
pinch of salt
1 Tbs lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Serve with Kafta meatballs.


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