…Or how to feed hungry folks on a budget; this mezze (appetizer) is ideal since one pound of meat will feed six people easily. The meat paste cooks in five minutes, so bake them as soon as your guests arrive. However, you can prepare the kafta paste earlier that day and coat the pitas with it.
If you happen to be in Lebanon or know a Lebanese butcher, then you can just have him prepare the kafta for you that day. I added sun-dried tomatoes to the paste to add tomato flavor without getting the meat soggy. Make sure to salt the chopped onions and let them rest for 30 minutes; water will drain out of the onions, press them dry and add them to the meat.
- 1 pound of minced beef 15 to 20% fatty (454 g.)
- 1 large onion (7 ounces or 200 g.)
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped parsley (.8 ounces or 25 g.)
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, drained of their oil and wiped as dry as possible
- Spices: salt (1 1/2 t.), white pepper (1/4 t.), paprika (1/2 t.), allspice (1/2 t.), cinnamon (1/2 t.), sumac (1 t.), pinch of Aleppo pepper or cayenne or chili powder (optional)
- 6 large pitas (the thin ones) or 10 small pitas
- 1/2 cup of melted and clarified butter or margarine or olive oil
- Chop the onion and place on a sieve lined with a paper towel. Sprinkle the salt and sumac on the onion, stir a bit with a spoon to mix evenly and let the onion drain its water for 30 minutes or longer.
- Place the meat, chopped parsley, drained and dried chopped onion, the sun-dried tomatoes and all the spices in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 3 to 5 minutes until the meat mixture is like a paste, scraping the corners of the bowl from time to time.
- Line three baking sheets with foil and place next to you. Open each pita up and slather with some melted butter or oil on one side with a brush. Place a generous dollop of the kafta mixture on the pita and spread it as evenly as possible with a spatula. Close the pita and place on the cookie sheet; repeat the operation until all have been filled and the meat mixture has been all used up. Using your kitchen scissors, cut the bread in triangles.
- When ready to serve, heat the oven to 375F (190 C) and slide the cookie sheets in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes and remove from the oven; the bread should be toasted and the meat cooked. Serve immediately with a salad as a main dish or as is for an appetizer.