The traditional way to make this dish is to spread the kafta on a pan, slice potatoes, bake the meat and potatoes; then a tahini sauce (aka tarator) is poured all over and the dish is baked again and presented with the layer of potatoes and kafta smothered in tahini sauce. Scrumptious, hearty, wonderful, but….
…with Super Bowl in a couple of days (looks like I am gonna have to watch the thing), turning this dish into a meatballs and dipping sauce made perfect sense.
For the kafta:
- 1 pound of ground beef or lamb, not too lean (sirloin or leg or shoulder of lamb)
- 5 ounces of chopped yellow onion
- 2 ounces of chopped flat parsley
- 2 ounces of chopped sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
- Spices: salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper, 1 teaspoon of allspice, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of Aleppo pepper or paprika, 1 teaspoon of sumac (optional)
For the tarator sauce:
- 3 cloves of garlic, cut up and mashed with a teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of tahini
- 1/2 cup of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup of water
- Make the kafta first: Chop the onion and place on a sieve with sumac and salt and let it drain for 20 minutes or longer.
- Chop the parsley and assemble the other spices. Place the meat, spices, drained onion and chopped parsley in a food processor bowl. Run the machine for a few minutes until the meat is pasty and smooth.
- Heat the oven to 400F.
- Place the kafta in a bowl and scoop out (with the help of a cookie dough scoop)onto a sheet pan lined with a long piece of foil. Bake in a 400F oven for 5 minutes or until the meat is cooked. Prepare the tahini sauce while the meatballs are baking. Mash the garlic, cut in tiny bits with a bit of salt. Place in a bowl and add the tahini, stirring to mix. Add the lemon juice and stir some more; add the water and stir until the mixture is smooth.
- Remove the kafta balls and place on paper towels to soak up the excess grease.