I’ve made kofte (lamb meatballs) for a while now. I’m kind of addicted to epicurious.com and have found a lot of great dinner recipes like this one. I’m not quite a meatball pro, but I’m getting the hang of it. I started making kofte in an effort to expand Miles’ palate. The first time I made this he loved it! He said it tasted like taco meat. If I make anything with a hint of cumin he will tell me that it tastes like taco meat. I chose not to be offended by his new found love of expensive taco tasting meat, and instead enjoyed the fact that I now have a new recipe to put into rotation.
Despite the cumin, the lamb is quite good. Don’t be intimated by the amount of mint that is used in this recipe. It has more of a parsley or cilantro like quality, with a light and refreshing flavor. You won’t have to worry about eating lamb that tastes like an Altoid! Also, if you like hummus, you’re in for a treat. The yogurt sauce is very similar to hummus, and shares all of the same ingredients with the exception of the chick peas. They’re swapped out for yogurt, which provides a nice cool addition to the lamb, enhancing the lamb’s flavor.
The red pepper sauce is something completely different. For the longest time, I was unable to find pomegranate molasses locally, so I made it with pomegranate juice instead. Actually, I made a simple syrup with the pomegranate juice, and used that as a substitution for the molasses. This time I broke down and ordered a bottle because I was curious to know what it actually tasted like. It was very tart! The sauce had a completely different quality, as my simple syrup substitution was sweeter. I liked the actual molasses, as I thought it better complimented the roasted red pepper. This recipe makes more than enough for two people. I usually make a full recipe and freeze the left overs. Even the flat bread. They’re easy to reheat on a night when you don’t feel like turning on the stove.
Good job epicurious! Another successful dinner 😊
Kotfe (lamb meatballs)
for the yogurt sauce:
- 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
for the kofte:
- 2 pounds ground lamb
- ½ cup minced fresh mint
- ¼ cup coarsely grated onion
- 4 garlic cloves (minced)
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 12 5-to 7-inch-diameter soft round Middle Eastern flatbreads (preferably with no pocket)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or more, divided)
- 2 large onions (halved through core, cut crosswise into ¼ – to 1/3 -inch slices)
for the roasted red pepper sauce:
- ½ cup finely chopped drained roasted red peppers from jar
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (or more)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
make the yogurt sauce:
Stir all ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Cover and chill.
make the kofte:
Line large rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Gently mix lamb and next 8 ingredients in large bowl. Using moistened hands and scant 2 tablespoonfuls for each, roll meat mixture into 1 ½ -inch meatballs. Arrange on sheet.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Place large sheet of foil on work surface. Heat large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add flatbreads to skillet 1 at a time; cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Enclose in foil; place in oven to keep warm.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Sauté until golden brown, about 8 minutes.
Transfer onions to 1 side of large rimmed baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm.
Add 1 tablespoon oil to same skillet; heat over medium-high heat. Sauté half of meatballs until just cooked through, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to baking sheet in oven. Repeat with remaining meatballs, adding oil to skillet if dry. Reserve skillet.
make the roasted red pepper sauce:
Add roasted peppers to reserved skillet; stir 1 minute. Add ½ cup water and 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses. Bring to simmer, scraping up browned bits. Cook until reduced to 2/3 cup, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Mix in parsley. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more pomegranate molasses, if desired. Transfer to small bowl.
Arrange onions and meatballs on platter. Serve with warm breads, yogurt sauce, and muhammara.