Friday, July 2, 2010

Moroccan Kefta

Kefta is ground beef or lamb, typically mixed with cumin, paprika, minced onion, coriander and parsley. Cinnamon, hot ground pepper, and mint leaves are optional. The recipe below shows traditional quantities of these spices and herbs.
Kefta makes a superb kebab (brochette), and it's also the foundation of a number of other Moroccan dishes. You can use lean ground meat, but the traditional recipe calls for a higher fat content. The meat, fat, spices and herbs would all be passed through a meat grinder together.

Many of the recipes I looked at had the same or similar ingredients and I really wish I could remember where I found this one.

Serves 4.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

• 1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) ground beef or lamb (or a combination of the two)
• 3 ounces (about 100 g) beef or lamb fat (optional)
• 1 medium onion, chopped very fine
• 2 teaspoons paprika
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon hot ground pepper
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
• 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, and leave for an hour or longer to allow the flavors to blend.(I left mine overnight) The kefta is then ready to shape and cook.
To make kebabs, take small amounts of kefta and shape them into cylinder or sausage shapes. Skewer the meat, squeezing it to mold it the skewer.(or not if you don't want to make them into kebabs)

Cook over hot coals, approximately five minutes each side. (It may take less or more time, depending on how hot the coals are, and how thick you shaped the kefta.)

Watch the kebabs carefully, so you don't dry out the kefta.
Serve immediately, or wrap in aluminum foil to keep hot while you cook additional kebabs.

The flavour is wonderful and extremely aromatic. They do have a bit of a kick to them but not too much. They're great served with tzadziki; I used Greek Yogurt and loved the combination. Add a hearty salad and life is good!

My learning: I couldn't fathom using a fuller fat ground meat - I probably should have since I did find them a little on the dry side.

Left in the fridge after cooking enhances the flavour. The second day they were tastier than after they were just grilled.

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Julia said...

This looks similar to the Turkish Adina Kebabi -- also very delicious!

Psychgrad? maybe she's out in the yard playing in her garden? If you see her, tell her I say hello.

bellini valli said...

I love kefta Giz. It always finds it way to my BBQ in the summer. Come to think of it why don't I eat it all year round?

That Girl said...

I love Moroccan food! But I've never made it myself. I should!

kat said...

I love Moroccan food too, gotta try these on the grill this summer

The Food Hunter said...

These look delicious.