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Lebanese Ground Lamb Skewers

Printed From: Foods of the World Forum
Category: Asia
Forum Name: The Middle East
Forum Discription: From Turkey and the Arabic Peninsula to Pakistan and the far corners of Alexander's Empire.
Printed Date: 06 October 2022 at 09:07

Topic: Lebanese Ground Lamb Skewers
Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Subject: Lebanese Ground Lamb Skewers
Date Posted: 18 April 2012 at 13:33
For tonight it'll be Lebanese ground lamb skewers (kofta meshwi). In this style, the ground meat is molded onto a skewer, forming a slightly flattened cigar shape. The skewers are then laid across an open grill pan (i.e., no grates), with the sidewalls supporting the skewers, and the meat over the coals.
The recipe I use comes from Hussien Dekmak's The Lebanese Cookbook. Here's the recipe:
Ground Lamb Skewers
1 1/4 lbs ground lamb
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped*
A small handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the meat in a bowl with the onion, red pepper, parsley, salt and pepper. <Mix well, then mold the mixture on to skewers and flatten a little with your fingers. Cook over charcoal for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, and serve hot with salads.
*I char and peel the peppers as well as deseeding them.
We serve toum with these skewers, and for a side we're doing lentils with bulgur topped with crispy shallots, which also comes from Dekmak's book.

Posted By: africanmeat
Date Posted: 23 April 2012 at 14:26
it looks good .at my house i add cumin and pine nets.


Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Date Posted: 24 April 2012 at 05:21
Sounds good, Ahron, although Friend Wife dislikes pine nuts, so I don't use them as often as I'd like.
If, in addition to the cumin, you added some coriander and a bit of ras el hanout, you'd come pretty close to North African flavors.

Posted By: ChrisFlanders
Date Posted: 24 April 2012 at 05:56

There are so many ingredients that can be used in koftas. I make something similar with the inspiration of the moment when I'm barbecueing, which isn't very often. Sad thing is, we have a lot of best cuts of lamb meat but hardly any minced lamb over here. There's a maroccan butchery nearby but the strong (sheep)smell hanging in that shop doesn't stimulate me too much to visit it often. You didn't hear me say their meat is "off", it's just me, being too sensitive to odd smells like sheep fat. Even before cooking lamb, which I like so much, the first thing that comes of is the fat. So my koftas and moussakas mostly contain a veal/pork combo meat instead of lamb.

Brook, there's a very nice foodblog that may interest you a lot, since you obviously like the oriental cuisines. It's in english and the author has Syrian/Libanese roots. She's called Anissa Helou. You'll like it!

Here's her blog (do browse through her "archives"!); -

And here's her website (check out her stunning b/w picture); -

Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Date Posted: 24 April 2012 at 10:45
Aha! The truth is out, Chris. You're not interested in cooking; you're just a dirty old man. Approve
Thanks for the link. Looks like an interesting blog, which I'll browse as leisure allows.

Posted By: ChrisFlanders
Date Posted: 25 April 2012 at 05:07
Yeah, well, I even admit that I'm on an age where I would have second thoughts on choosing between one 50 year old and two 25 year olds... given the fact that my heart rythm little pills keep on doing their work of course.

Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Date Posted: 25 April 2012 at 05:24
I'd still take the two 25 year olds, Chris---so long as one of them was a registered nurse.

Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Date Posted: 25 April 2012 at 05:38
There are so many ingredients that can be used in koftas
Absolutely. Lamb is lamb. What marks it as one ethnicity or another is the herbs, spices, and other flavorings that go into it.
Truth to tell, I never make them quite like the above recipe. If nothing else, I toss in a handful of za'tar, which really marks it as a Mid-Eastern dish. 
but hardly any minced lamb over here
 Not much different here, Chris. That's one of the reasons I invested in an electric meat grinder several years back. Not only is ground lamb, pork, and other meats barely available, I don't trust any ground meat unless I've seen the butcher do it. So I grind most of my own. Even beef for hamburgers.
Here's a piece of irony. When I bought my current meat grinder about 18 years ago it was because I had an unusual number of deer and other big game that year. Until then I'd always used a hand grinder. The machine I got was being sold for 99 bucks, and I figured if I only got the one season out of it I'd still be ahead of the game.
Nearly two decades later it's still going strong.
Merely proving, I guess, that while some days you're the hyrdrant, other times you're the dog. That was a dog day for sure.

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