This potato kafta is a delicious twist on the usual kafta: The potatoes are boiled then mixed with the meat and flavored with a garlicky cilantro pesto.
The kaftas are shaped like burgers and can be pan-fried, grilled or baked with a slice of onion and tomato on top.
- 1 pound of lean (95%) ground beef (sirloin is what I used)
- 1/4 cup of cilantro pesto
- 1 pound of baking potatoes
- Olive oil, as needed
- 2 Large onions
- 2 Large tomatoes
- Spices for kafta: One teaspoon of allspice, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, black pepper, sumac (or use 1/2 Tablespoon of kafta spice mix)
- Boil the potatoes until done; meanwhile, peel 6 garlic cloves, chop in little pieces and mash in a mortar with a dash of salt. When the garlic is pasty, stop. Wash and dry half a bunch of cilantro leaves (about 1/2 cup packed) and mince as fine as possible. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet and place the garlic and cilantro on the oil, stirring with a wooden spoon to get the mixture to combine; after 30 seconds remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Place the boiled potatoes (peeled) in a large bowl; add the meat, spices and cilantro pesto. Mix to combine well (it is helpful to wear disposable gloves here). Shape the potato kafta into burgers and either pan-fry or grill. If pan-frying, heat a little oil and sprinkle flour on the kafta patties. Another option is to grease a pan, line up the patties and top with a slice of onion and a slice of tomato; salt a bit and bake in a preheated oven at 350F until the patties are done and the meat is cooked. Serve warm.
Source for the recipe: Chef Ramzi’s The Culinary Heritage of Lebanon.