Lebanese Beef Kafta 3 Ways

Thomas Edison said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, but in the case of this recipe and the brilliant prep method involved, we're going to have to disagree with ol' Tommy boy and say it's the other way around! If you're gearing up for BBQ season and want to impress all your friends with some tasty grilled skewers, this clever hack and delicious recipe is the way to go.

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10-20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-40 minutes

You'll Need:

For the beef kafta:

  • 1 lb beef chuck
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

For the cheesy beef kafta variation:

  • 8 beef kafta
  • 8 slices of cheese

For the mint yogurt beef kafta variation:

  • 8 beef kafta
  • 8 slices of cheese
  • 24 oz plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • crispy fried onions for the coating

Here's How:

1. Finely chop the beef chuck and mix it together with the onion, egg yolk, cilantro, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cut a clean 2L plastic bottle in half horizontally and fill the top part of the bottle with the meat mixture.

2. Place a tall drinking glass upside-down on your work surface – the glass should have a diameter slightly smaller than that of the plastic bottle. Place the bottle section filled with meat over the glass.

3. Unscrew the lid from the bottle, stick a 10-inch wooden skewer into the meat in the bottle opening, and push the bottle down over the glass. The meat will come flowing out and all you have to do is gently pull the wooden skewer to the side when the meat is the desired length. Repeat with the rest of the meat mixture until you have 8 beef kafta.

4. Fry the beef kafta in a lightly greased pan over medium heat until golden brown. For cheesy beef kafta, heat a pan over medium heat. Fry 1 beef kafta near the edge of the pan and let a slice of cheese melt on the other side of the pan. Once the cheese starts to bubble, place the beef kafta on the edge of the cheese slice and roll it up. Repeat with the rest of the beef kafta.

6. For mint yogurt kafta, prepare the beef kafta using the cheesy beef kafta method. Fill the lower half of the plastic bottle with plain yogurt, mint, salt, and pepper and mix well. Dip the cheesy beef kafta into the mint yogurt sauce and coat with crispy fried onions.

Serve the finished skewers with grilled eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini for a true Lebanese treat!

Get the recipe for the Bacon & Cheese Meatball Skewers featured in the bonus video.


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