Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pasha's Kofta

I'm not sure what could be better on a winter day than lamb, mashed potatoes, and a tomato sauce. I have to admit, my imagination thought this dish would be slightly better than what it was, but it was still delicious and satisfying. The tomato sauce just wasn't quite as rich as I thought it would be, but letting the lamb cook in the tomato sauce definitely adds an extra layer of richness (and to be fair, I used water instead of lamb stock with the tomatoes as I was out of lamb stock!).

Pasha's Kofta (from The Sultan's Kitchen)

4 slices day-old white bread, crust removed
900g lean ground lamb or beef
1/2 small onion, grated (1/4 cup)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 eggs
1/2 tsp Turkish red pepper or ground red pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
1/3 cup milk
2 tbsp heavy cream
450g potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves minced
115g grated kasseri cheese (1/2 cup) (I used mizithra)
tomato sauce
3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (2 1/2 cups)
2 cups lamb stock or water
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1. Heat oven to 350F.
2. To make kofta: soak bread in cold water and squeeze out excess. Combine lamb, bread, onion, garlic, parsley, eggs, pepper, paprika, and cumin in large bowl. Mix for 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. To make potatoes: heat milk and cream in saucepan until warm. Set aside and keep warm. Put potatoes in a large sauce saucepan and cover with lightly salted water. Bring to boil and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain.
4. Place butter and garlic in saucepan and set over low heat, stirring until butter melts. Add potatoes and milk mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Mash potatoes until smooth and creamy.
5. To make tomato sauce: In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and stir in tomato paste. Add tomatoes and stock, bring to boil, and boil 3 minutes, stirring.
6. To assemble: divide meat mixture into 4 portions, shaping into balls. Flatten and make a well in the center of each one. Arrange in an ovenproof baking dish.
7. Place mashed potatoes in center of each kofta. Sprinkle with cheese.
8. Pour tomato sauce around koftas, not over potatoes.
9. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until top is slightly browned.
10. Arrange kofta on plates, spoon sauce around, and sprinkle with parsley.

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