I’m making a Moroccan Kefta today—Kefta simply means ground meat. You grind it, add several spices to it and turn it into little meatballs. Of course you could try to shape them into little teletubbies, Eiffel towers, or even tiny Mona Lisas will do! Be creative! (just kidding, sorry:)
My kefta is slightly different though; I’m using ground beef in stead of the more authentic ground lamb. Mine are also poached in a lemon & herb sauce giving them a slightly different texture. If you don’t care for tangy and zesty dishes, you might want to skip this one! If you do like lemony foods, give it a go! It’s a fun and easy recipe. Think of it as an experimental break from your every-day cooking! You have to do that every now and then or you’ll end up in a rut, making the same old dishes over and over again! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
The meat is surprisingly light and fresh, making this an ideal lunch. Especially when you throw in some flat bread as well!
1 pound ground beef (or lamb)
2 large onions
1 chili pepper
1 garlic clove
1 tsp salt
1 heaping tbsp fresh ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 1/4 cup water
What better way to spend a rainy, windy and chilly morning than all cooped up in the kitchen, cooking up a storm? It’s either that or be like him and stay in pajamas all morning! Lazy little boy. Hmmmm. On second thoughts; lemme grab my pajamas.
Back to the recipe.
Go for extra lean ground beef. Or keep it really authentic and get yourself one pound ground lamb.
Let’s add a few spices. Spices you might not expect in ground beef: 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cayenne and a good pinch of black pepper.
You could finely mince it, but in this recipe I prefer grating 1/2 a large onion.
Also add a grated or finely minced garlic clove to the ground beef.
Fresh, green and crispy flat-leaf parsley. I love how it looks, smells and tastes. Finely chop a good handful and add it to the ground beef.
Knead for a few minutes—you want everything to be thoroughly combined.
Make walnut-sized meatballs out of them. You could also brown them first, if that’s what you prefer. This would be your cue to do so! I’m not… I’m poaching them.
Finely mince the remaining 1/2 onion and 1 additional large onion. Did I mention I like onions? No?
De-seed and finely chop a large red chili pepper.
I always freeze my ginger. So I’ve defrosted 1 heaping tbsp grated ginger. Defrosting is only seconds work if you have a microwave.
Extract the juice from a large lemon. I’ve sieved the juice and measured it; my lemon gave 1/4 cup of lemon juice.
The original recipe calls for a handful finely chopped coriander. I’m so not going there! In stead I’ve chopped another handful of flat-leaf parsley. Just go with whatever flavor you like best. Also wash and quarter a lemon. Be sure to take the pits out! I’d feel really bad if you’d end up with $3000 worth of dental work due to one of my recipes!
Heat 2 tbsp butter, add the onions, chili pepper, ginger and 1/4 tsp turmeric. The turmeric will give a mild flavor and will color everything sunny yellow. You could also add some curry powder in stead.
Cook everything, over medium heat, until the onion starts to brown.
Add the parsley (or coriander), lemon juice, 1 tsp salt and pour in 1 1/4 cup water. Give it a good swirl and bring the sauce to a boil.
Drop the meatballs in there and temper the heat. Put the lid on and simmer, over low heat, for 20 minutes. Flip the meatballs over ocassionally.
Now simply put the lemon wedges in there. We’re going to simmer the sauce (without the lid on), for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will give the sauce a chance to cook down and thicken a bit. Check the seasoning!
Serve in pretty bowls and throw in some flat bread (or rice/couscous) and a salad. This is a really nice lunch dish! And because the meat is served in small portions, it also makes for a great appetizer or even party snack!
Here’s one of my shorter intros (now wipe that relieved look off your face!). Bought cod fish on the market and -with the crazy prices nowadays- wanted to turn it into a special dinner. Planned on serving the fish with a white sauce, maybe a hint of a fresh dill on top, some juicy and slightly crispy steamed baby carrots on the side and it needed a special potato side dish as…