Prep. time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: Under 10 minutes
This is a dish that falls into the category of hot mezze (hors d'oeuvre).
Depending on the recipe or to soak up the moisture, you can add breadcrumbs. I like to add breadcrumbs in a proportion of 25% because they lighten the kafta and make it more digestible.
In Lebanon, ground mutton is used, which has a stronger flavor than ground lamb. If the leg meat isn't fatty enough, you can add 200 g (7 oz.) lamb or mutton fat. Cook the kafta, if possible, over a wood fire - there's nothing better. To simplify the recipe, use ground beef or lamb from your butcher.
Kaftas are formed by hand: they're like slightly flattened large sausages. If you happen to have a falafel mold, you could use it. Be sure to wash your hands well before and after working with raw meat to prevent any food-borne illness, particularly in hot climates.
Serve the kaftas with the garnishes described: sesame sauce or tabbouleh salad.
Barbecue or Grill Method
- Remove the stems from the parsley; wash and dry the leaves.
- Peel the onions. Chop them in a food processor with the parsley, salt and pepper.
- Add the ground meat and mix until well-combined.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes to make shaping the meat easier.
- Mold into 10 cm (4") long cylinders about 3 cm (1 1/2") in diameter; place on skewers and grill for about 4 minutes on each side; check for doneness; remove or return to the grill depending on the desired doneness.
- Cook in a skillet in a mixture of oil and butter.
Garnish and presentation
- Combine the onion, sumac, flat leaf parsley, salt and pepper. Place in a small plate.
- Just before serving, separate the pita bread. Place the kafta on one disc and cover with the other disc to keep hot.
- Dip each bite into the garnish before eating.
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