Beef Kaftas

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Some years ago we had a coupon to a Lebanese restaurant and we ate Kaftas for the first time. We loved them so I looked them up on the Internet and came up with this recipe. I’m not a big fan of lamb so I  normally make them with just beef, and/or turkey or chicken. I also normally shape them like short, kind of flat cigars, but tonight I just made small patties for easier handling on the grill.

  • 1 lb. ground lamb or beef (or half and half)
  • 1 large onion, finely minced
  • 1/2 bunch minced parsley (maybe a cup?)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • yogurt as condiment

Mix all ingredients (except the yogurt). Roll into cigar shapes. Grill or broil. Serve with yogurt.

It’s important not to overcook as the meat will get tough. The yogurt is great. You can also use tzaziki or just add some mint to yogurt.

I just looked up the recipe again as I’ve had this one for so long and found the following.  It has no cinnamon, but all the other stuff along with the more traditional egg and breadcrumbs.  I’ll try this next time and if it doesn’t work, will delete it.  In the meantime you can try one or the other and let me know which worked best!

Lebanese Kofta (or Kafta) by Michigal

This Arabic meat mixture has been made in my family for generations. We make it on skewers to grill on the barbecue, but this recipe can also be used for hamburgers (lamburgers). It’s amazing served with tzatziki or Arabic garlic spread. We usually serve it with hummus and tabbouli as side dishes. The 1/2 lamb, 1/2 beef mixture is simply to keep the cost down. Feel free to adjust to 100% lamb. Enjoy!


  • ½ pounds Ground Lamb
  • ½ pounds Ground Beef
  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Parsley
  • ½ cups Finely Chopped Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Allspice
  • 2 cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Paprika
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ⅓ cups Bread Crumbs
  • 1 whole Egg


Soak bamboo skewers for 30 minutes before prepping (or use stainless steel skewers).

Preheat an outdoor grill to high heat.

Mix all of the ingredients above thoroughly in a large glass bowl.

Wet fingers and hands (or coat fingers and hands with a bit of olive oil) and mold meat mixture around skewers in a long, oblong log shape. (You can also mold this first, and then thread the skewer through them, but the other way is easier).

Grill until meat is no longer pink. Do not over grill, but ensure that the meat is cooked thoroughly.

Serve hot.


I’m going to copy Michigal’s (she must be from Michigan) recipe for “Cool Garlicky Cucumbers” too because it sounds so good. Will have to try next time.

Cool Garlicky Cucumbers


This recipe is like a crazy version of the old fashioned “cucumbers and sour cream” with a Greek tzadziki flair. We absolutely love this in the summertime, as it’s a very cool, refreshing side dish. It’s a fantastic complement to zesty or spicy meats or legumes. We love it best with a really flavorful barbecue-grilled steak and corn on the cob. Just try it once—I guarantee you’ll fall in love with it!


  • 1 cup Fage Or Oikos Greek Yogurt (MUST Be Greek)
  • ½ cups Sour Cream
  • 1 whole Very Large Cucumber (or Two Regular Sized Ones), Peeled, Seeded And Diced
  • ⅓ cups Red Onion, Diced Finely
  • 3 cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced
  • ½ teaspoons White Vinegar
  • ½ teaspoons White Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Dried Mint (or Two Tablespoons Fresh Mint, Chopped)
  • ½ teaspoons Or More Freshly Ground Sea Salt
  • 2 pinches Freshly Ground Black Pepper


In a medium-sized glass mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, yogurt, minced garlic, salt, sugar, pepper and white vinegar. Mix well. Then add the mint, crushing it between your fingertips as you sprinkle it in the bowl, allowing the oils to release and making the mint more potent. Then add the cucumber and onion, mixing well. Taste, and add more salt if you think necessary. Don’t be afraid of the salt (unless you have high blood pressure or heart problems)—it really brings out the flavor of the yogurt and garlic. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and chill for at least one hour before serving.


Published in: on June 18, 2014 at 8:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New Zealand Lamb Shank “a la Costco”

Ev was out again & laid down the law that I was making dinner. Lamb shank!  Man am I a good cook! Actually I learned this ‘recipe’ from mom. Hi Mom!  She says she served this to Chef Christophe and it fooled him. At least Ev was happy and maybe she won’t insist I cook for a while….

Published in: on December 6, 2009 at 3:22 am  Leave a Comment