Turkish-Style Beef Köfte Kebab Recipe
This Turkish-style beef köfte kebab recipe is a perfect grilled dish to make on a hot summer afternoon. Easy to assemble, quick to grill, its satisfying delectable flavor makes it a favorite dish year-round.
Köfte are meatball recipes found in many middle eastern and eastern European cuisines. From kafta to kofte to köfte, they are simple everyday dishes to cook up at home. When writing this recipe, I surveyed various family members about their favorite köfte recipes, and got several more variations than I expected!
Spices to Keep on Hand
I love Turkish red pepper, called Aleppo pepper in the U.S.. Aleppo pepper flakes are dried from the halaby pepper, and have a not very spicy, little bit smoky, and a little fruity flavor. I bring it back from Turkey by the kilo when I go, but you can pick some Aleppo Pepper up here.
Having the right beef is the key to making delicious beef recipes. One of my favorite farmers and sources for grass-fed and pastured beef in California is J and J grass fed beef. They are a family-run operation that delivers to your door in Southern California. If you are considering trying grass-fed, pastured beef, but are unsure where to start, ordering from them is a good place to start.
It is not necessary to use skewers in this recipe, although they do add to the ambiance of the dish. The meat mixture can be squeezed onto wide metal skewers, or formed into oblong meatballs, as stated in the recipe.
How to Use Sumac
If you’re looking for other ways to use that sumac you picked up to make this recipe, try this Tangy Turmeric Chicken with Sumac and Lime or Crisp Romaine Salad with Parsley and Mint. If you love spices but want to know more, consider joining Spice Club.
Mediterranean Recipes for Dinner
Serve them with a side of plain yogurt, a couple of side veggie dishes, and you have a filling and refreshing meal. Try with Turkish-style Braised Green Beans recipe, and the Parsley and Onion Salad found here.
Turkish Style Beef Kofte Kebab
- ½ onion
- 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, 4 grinds
- 3 Tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons Turkish Grill Spice*
- 1 large tomato, cut into quarters
- 1 large onion, cut into quarters
- 6-7 shishito peppers, or long-style Italian (non-spicy) peppers for grilling
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Aleppo pepper for garnish
- Grate onion on a box grater or in a food processor. Press through a strainer and squeeze with your hands to get out as much liquid as possible.
- Put squeezed onion pulp in a bowl with beef, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, and your choice of spice mix.
- Using your hands, mix all ingredients together well, squeezing mixture to help break beef into smaller pieces.
- Prepare a charcoal grill. Alternatively, and a little later, heat a griddle or large pan over medium high heat. If cooking in a pan or on a griddle, add a small amount of olive oil before cooking kebabs.
- There are two options for forming the beef. If you have thick metal skewers, squeeze about 1/5th of the mixture onto each skewer, using your hands, and flattening as you go. Sometimes this method doesn’t work, and the meat just won’t stick to the skewer. If this is the case, or you don’t have wide metal skewers, form the meat into oval shapes that are about 3 inches long by 1 ½ inches wide. These will grill up just fine. Grill over medium-high heat, getting nice grill marks, for 3-4 minutes per side.
- Grill up some tomato, onion, and peppers while cooking the meat. They will add a nice aroma.
- Serve everything up on a platter and sprinkle with chopped parsley and Aleppo pepper.