In Lebanese cuisine, Kafta usually refers to spiced ground meat that can be fried, baked or grilled. If you form the meat mixture around kabob sticks, you get Kafta Kabob. My kids tried this dish in a local Middle Eastern restaurant and loved it so much that they insisted I learn how to make it at home. My version uses half ground lamb and half ground beef (grass fed, if possible) but you can use any ground meat you like or any combo of ground meats. I have tried it with ground turkey and it was very tasty. These meatballs can also be used other ways, try them shaped and cooked like mini-hamburgers for a completely different slider experience. You could get mini pita breads for the buns and use shredded cabbage and mint as a topper along with a drizzle of tahini.
Kafta : Lebanese Meatballs
- 1/2 lb ground beef (grass fed, if possible)
- 1/2 lg ground lamb (grass fed, if possible)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- In a large mixing bowl add all of the spices and mix them well with a fork or a whisk. Add in the ground meat and use your hands to thoroughly mix all of the spices into the meat.
- Roll the meat mixture into approx 12 golf ball sized balls. At this point you have many choices for cooking the meat. You can bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for approx 20 minutes or you can slightly flatten each one and put them on your medium hot grill for about 3-5 minutes per side. You could pan fry them over medium high heat for about 3-5 minutes per side, or if you have a George Foreman style contact grill you can pop them in there for 6 - 8 minutes or until juices run clear.
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