Lamb Kofta

Lamb Kofta

Lamb Kofta & Fetta and Pinenut Lamb Kofta

Wonderful barbeque food, this is a tasty and easy to make alternative to the regular patties and burgers.  Lamb carries flavour very well and can be used as the base for spicy, sweet and fresh flavours.  By adding the pre-prepared sausages there is a depth of flavour to the mix.  Greek sausages can be found at most markets or good butchers, they are aromatic, dense and generally well aged full-meat sausages packed with flavour.  If you cannot find Greek lamb sausages, you will need to add a teaspoon of salt and a hand-full of breadcrumbs or plain sausage meat to thicken the mix without it being 100% mince meat.  

The dried Greek oregano stipulated here is also a must!  This form of dried oregano is sold on the stalk in long branches, usually wrapped in plastic or brown paper, it lasts really well and is economical due to its pungency.  It can now be found readily at markets and gourmet stores and the perfume is outstanding.  If you are unable to find it, use regular dried oregano and an additional tablespoon of fresh oregano.  Avoid too many fresh herbs in this mix, or it can become overly watery and fall apart on the grill!
Here are two versions of Lamb Kofta skewers, both of which are great hot or cold.

Basic Kofta mix:
1kg very good quality lamb mince, preferably low fat and organic
2 Greek lamb sausages (or 150 grams sausage meat)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
3 tablespoon dried Greek Oregano
½  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground fennel
½ teaspoon Nigella seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 egg
Preserved lemon – about 3 skins worth, very finely chopped, no pith or flesh

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. 
Mix by hand until the meat begins to become very sticky and easily forms into logs.

Lamb Kofta

For Feta and Pinenut Kofta add the following to half the above basic Kofta mix:
150 grams feta cheese, crumbled
100 grams pinenuts
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
2 tablespoon mint, finely chopped
1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Once the Kofta mixes are ready to form onto metal skewers, rub a little olive oil onto your hands and lay out a sheet of baking paper.
With oiled hands, form the meat around the skewers, pressing the meat together well to form dense Kofta logs. Each Kofta should be slightly larger than a normal sausage, but still able to fit into your hand. 
Place the completed skewers on the baking paper and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 2 hours to ensure the meat has contracted around the skewers and the protein in the meats has relaxed into place.

Cook on a very hot grill or barbeque – the hotter the better.

Allow each side to form a good crust, with deep burnished grill lines.  Cook until no juices leak from the Kofta and they are firm to touch.
Allow the Kofta to rest before serving, place in a warm oven covered with foil for at least 5-10 mintues. 

If you use very high quality ingredients it is possible to cook these through and still have a moist, just slightly pink interior.

Serve with roasted potatoes, tzatziki, beans, salad and/or warmed flat bread.