Ottolenghi’s Kofta b’siniyah

Source: “Jerusalem” – Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

Servings: 5 people
Ingredients
Kofta
  • 400 g minced lamb
  • 400 g minced beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50 g toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped, plus extra whole ones to garnish
  • 30 g finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
  • 1 large medium-hot red chilli , deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1½   tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1½   tsp ground allspice
  • ¾     tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1½   tsp ground black pepper
  • 1½   tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil for baking the Kofta
Tahini sauce
  • 75 g light tahini paste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • enough water to make the sauce runny
  • 1 medium garlic clove, crushed
  • salt
  • sweet paprika, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

  2. Put all the kofta ingredients (exept for the sunflower oil) in a bowl and use your hands to mix everything together well. Now shape into long, cigar-shaped cylinders, roughly 7cm long (about 50g each). Press the mix to compress it and ensure the kofta is tight and keeps its shape. Arrange on a plate and chill (at least 30 min) until you are ready to cook them.

  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the tahini paste, lemon juice, garlic, water and a quarter of a teaspoon of salt. The sauce should be a bit runnier than honey; add more water if needed one tbs at the time.

  4. Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying-pan and sear the kofta over a high heat; do this in batches so they are not cramped together. Sear them on all sides until golden brown, about six minutes for each batch. At this point they should be medium-rare. Lift out of the pan and arrange on an oven tray. Put the tray in the oven for two (medium) to four (well done) minutes.

  5. Spoon the tahini sauce on a serving plate so it covers the base of the tray and place the kofta on the sauce. Scatter with pine nuts and parsley and finally sprinkle some paprika on top. 

  6. Serve at once.