Celebrate Independence with "Meat Logs"

Looking for a theme for a weekend dinner party? Look no further than Lebanese Independence Day, coming up on Nov. 22. It'll give you and excuse to make yummy, Lebanese Kofta. Or as some recent dinner guests called it, "meat logs".

Call it what you will, this is one tasty (and easy!!) meal to throw on the grill. Cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg combine with ground lamb to make an exotic and aromatic kebab.

A few tips based on recent experience...

  • Divide the meat mixture into 16-18 portions before forming them onto skewers. I made 12, and they were a little bit too large.
  • Finely chop the parsley, and grate the onion on a box grater. Who wants to dirty up a food processor if you don't have to?!
  • Also, I (of course) couldn't find ground lamb on the day I wanted to make this, so subbed 80/20 ground beef mixed with a small package of ground venison. The venison added just enough gamey funk to give the flavor some depth. Experiment with your own meats - turkey kofta might be the next big thing!

Lebanese Kofta

Recipe via Serious Eats

2 1/2 lbs finely ground lamb
1 bunch of parsley, washed and coarsely chopped
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Bamboo Skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes prior to using

  1. Pulse onion and parsley and onion in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and add the ground lamb, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined.
  2. Form lamb mixture into 1 1/2" meat balls. Thread one meatball on a skewer, then form meat into a log shape around the skewer. Repeat until all lamb is used.
  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals out evenly over the charcoal grate. Clean and oil your grilling grate.
  4. Grill skewers over high heat until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.

Serve with warm pitas, grilled veggies (zucchini and onion are good accompaniments here), and tzatziki sauce.

See what else the Kitchen Magician is cooking up.
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