Shish kifte

Shish kifte

By
From
Moorish
Serves
4
Photographer
Mark Roper

It’s funny how mince means such different things to different people. To those of us with an Anglo-Saxon background, mince means, at best, hamburgers, and at worst a grey, watery, gristly slop. In the Middle East, however, mince is transformed by careful spicing to a thing of wonder. We particularly like it for making tiny tasty meatballs, or squashed into sausage shapes around skewers and grilled over hot coals.

Anyone who has visited the Eastern Mediterranean or Middle East will have fond memories of the savoury aroma of sizzling lamb kebabs. They are quick, easy and inexpensive to make, and are ideal for a barbecue, or for the kids’ supper.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g lamb, minced twice
1 onion, grated
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried mint
or 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Ras al hanout, (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
50ml olive oil
Tzatziki
or Toum

Method

  1. If you buy minced lamb from the supermarket, don’t opt for the newfashioned ‘lean’ version – you need a reasonable fat content both for flavour and to help the kifte maintain their shape. If you get the lamb from a butcher ask for it to be minced twice, which makes for a smoother, finer result.
  2. Mix together all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a large mixing bowl. Knead well to a homogeneous sticky paste. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  3. When ready to cook, preheat the barbecue or griddle to its highest temperature. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them for 10 minutes in cold water to stop them burning and catching fire.
  4. Wet your hands, take a handful of the lamb mixture and shape it tightly around a skewer to make a long sausage about 10 cm long and 3 cm in diameter. Keep going until you have used up all the mince.
  5. Brush each kebab lightly with olive oil and grill on the barbecue or griddle plate. They will take anywhere between 5 and 8 minutes, depending on how well done you like them.
  6. Serve them wrapped in warm Arabic bread, with a blob of tzatziki or toum, and some salad leaves if you like.
Tags:
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Moorish
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