Dec 3rd, 2007 by Amy
This is one of those meals we often make in the winter when we want something tasty, filling, but not high in fat. By cooking the ‘kabobs’ on the flat griddle pan, the fat drips off into the drip pan part of the griddle leaving us with a leaner kabob. I’ve been meaning to post this delicious, easy, cheap and extremely quick to make recipe since we started the blog. Better late than never.
The reason I put the word ‘kabob’ in quotation marks is because these technicaly are not kabobs. Most people associate the word kabob with grilled meat on a skewer. Well, that is partially right. Kabobs are cubed, marinated pieces of meat. Because we are using ground meat it kind of loses the ‘kabob’ title and becomes a Kubideh/Kafta in Lebanon or a Kūbide in Iran. The word Kubideh is the Persian word for “chopped” or “mashed”. Altough not traditional, free to substitute ground lamb for ground pork or beef but technicaly Kubideh should be a mix of ground lamb and beef. Also, traditionally the onion you mix with your ground meat should be almost pureed in a food processor before it is mixed in. I didn’t do this, but feel free to go traditional!
Also, do not fret if you don’t have any skewers, you could just roll the ground meat into the oval-ish shape and just cook that way. Another non-traditional element I added to our kubideh is tzatziki sauce which is traditionally a Greek dip or sauce which tops souvlaki and gyros. I think the tzatziki sauce really brings this meal together and gives keeps it moist. I highly recommend making it to go with the kabobs.
GROUND LAMB ‘KABOBS’ (LAMB KUBIDEH)
For the ground meat:
- 1 lb. of ground lamb (use more ground lamb if you’re really hungry!)
- 1/2 onion, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- some ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced parsley (fresh, preferably)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped mint (fresh, preferably)
- 2 tablespoons of feta cheese, crumbled
- some lemon zest
- 1 egg, beaten
For the tzatziki:
- 2 small containers of low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt (if you can get greek yogurt, go for it!)
- 1/2 of cucumber, seeds taken out, peeled and cut into small pieces
- the zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 big clove of garlic, smashed and minced finely
- 2-3 tablespoons of fresh mint, chopped
- pinch of salt
- White or whole wheat pitas
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- lettuce, thinly sliced
- feta cheese, crumbled
- hot sauce (optional)
What to do:
- Line a sieve with cheesecloth or 2 paper towels. Put yogurt in this and allow to drain for 1/2 hour. This will create a thicker tzatziki sauce.
- Combine all the ground meat ingredients except egg. Whisk egg and add to ground meat. Use those hands to mix it up – get in there! Heat up your griddle pan and turn on your overhead fan – this creates lots of smoke.
- Shape the meat into thick, oval shapes. Poke a skewer into the middle of the meat. Once griddle pan is hot, cook meat. Make sure to turn so every side gets cooked (about 45 seconds per side). You want it to be kind of crispy on the outside.
- Meanwhile, slice up your garnish – red onion and lettuce and crumble some more feta.
- When tzatziki is drained, transfer to a bowl. Mix in other ingredients and allow to sit while you assemble the kubideh’s/kabobs.
- Toast one side of your pita on the griddle pan. If there’s still some ground meat fat on there, allow the pita to soak some of it up while it’s grilling – about 1 minute.
- Layer the ground meat first, topped with some crumbled feta, a squeeze of lemon, lettuce, red onion and a squeeze of hot sauce. On one side of the pita, put 1-2 tablespoons of tzatziki, roll up and ENJOY!!
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