Grilled Beef Kafta with Tzatziki sauce. There is nothing like the aroma of grilling. The charring and caramelization that happens are mouthwatering. Pair that with these Kafta and all the seasoning that will have your taste buds demanding more after each bite, beautifully enlightened by the fresh zesty acidic tzatziki. More so, this will be a perfect family meal for the week!
For the kafta:
- 450 g lean ground beef
- 1/2 yellow onion chopped fine
- 1 clove garlic minced
- A tsp each of paprika, onion powder, Lebanese 7 spice, cumin, ground coriander, and dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp each of sumac, cinnamon, ground fennel
- Pinch of red chili powder, cayenne, and allspice
- 2 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp each fine sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
For the tzatziki:
- 3 small cucumbers diced very fine
- 1/4 of a red onion chopped very fine
- 3 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
- 11/2 Tbsp olive oil mayo
- 1 clove garlic minced very fine
- 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tsp pickle juice
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- fresh chopped parsley
- lemon wedges
- some fresh warm pita bread
- In a bowl break up the ground beef. Add in the olive oil and all the spices and seasoning, along with the onions, oregano, and parsley.
- Mix well with your hands or if you prefer a spoon or fork, until well incorporated.
- Cover with plastic and place in the fridge for about an hour or better yet overnight.
- In a bowl toss in finely chopped cucumber and onion. Spoon in yogurt, mayo, and blend well.
- Add in parsley, lemon and pickle juice and season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
Forming the Kafta:
- Soak some bamboo skewers in warm water.
- Take the marinated ground beef out of the fridge. Scoop a tablespoon into your hand and form into a long oval rope.
- Grab a skewer and slide it through the center of the oval you have created. Press the ground beef into the skewer and form a bit more until you see the meat well formed around the skewer. Place onto a plate.
- Continue until all the meat mixture is done.
- Preheat the barbecue to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place a grilling pan onto the grill and let heat up also.
- Take the kafta and place on grilling pan and turn occasionally to get all the surface browned and caramelized. About 15 minutes or until an internal temperature of 155 degrees Fahrenheit is achieved.
- It is time to take the kafta off the grill, drizzle with some lemon juice, olive oil and fresh chopped parsley. Furthermore, let rest for 5 minutes which will ring the temperature to 160 degrees Fahrenheit perfect or ground beef.
Ready to serve:
- Serve Kafta with some tzatziki on the side and some warm pita.
You can use ground lamb also to make the Kafta.
Instead of pickle juice, you can use fresh dill finely chopped.
Use any skewers you have if you don’t have the bamboo ones.
They say 160 degrees Fahrenheit is the best for ground beef however there is carryover cooking so I usually pull the meat at about 155 degrees Fahrenheit and let sit. It will continue cooking and all the juices will rest back into the meat.