Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kefte Recipe

I grew up eating Keftes. Over the years I have made some modifications. Here is the latest and greatest version:

2lb ground beef
2 eggs
10 or so crumbled saltines
1/2 cup parsley chopped
1/2 cup onions chopped

In a large bowl crumble the raw ground beef add remaining ingredients as well as a generous amount of salt and pepper. Work together with hands to combine all ingredients. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a skillet and form small (no bigger than 3-4 inches in diameter) patties. Brown patties in pan until nearly cooked through. Place cooked patties on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to absorb extra oil. Once all patties are browned place them in a 9X13 baking dish and pre-heat oven to 350.
While the oven is heating make the sauce.

Sauce recipe:

1 can of tomato sauce
1 cans of diced stewed tomatoes (pureed)
Pepper to taste
Johnny's Greek seasoning to taste
1/4 to 1/2 cup of lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. This is where you have to decide how flavorful you want your sauce. I add at least on tbsp of Johnny's and a tsp of pepper to start. I like lemon so I would probably opt for the 1/2 c of lemon juice for this size recipe. The consistency of the sauce s/be watery more watery than spaghetti sauce. I believe the sauce should be well flavored so that when it is baked with the Keftes the Keftes absorb the extra flavor. Just add spices and lemon and taste it as you go.

Pour sauce over the Keftes. The sauce should nearly fully cover the Keftes. If you need more add more Pureed tomatos.

Bake for 30 minutes in the oven. If 350 is too hot reduce heat to 300 after 15 minutes. You don't want all of your sauce to burn onto the sides of the pan.

Serve over rice. I usually make a nice Greek Style salad with this meal.

Some modifications you could make: Use 1/2 ground lamb and 1/2 ground beef for a more authentic flavor. You can also use ground turkey. When I use the ground turkey I usually season it with Cumin instead of just salt and pepper. I have also gotten creative with adding chopped spinach to my meat mixture to add additional vegies to my family's diet. Try anything!
Let me know if you have questions...hope I didn't forget anything!

1 comment:

  1. This is one of our favorite dinners. Rachel made it for a Sunday dinner once, and it was a huge hit. I love making this for my family mid-week because it is pretty quick to throw together, can be modified with good results if I'm missing ingredients, and the kids love it. Madeline calls it "mini-meatloafs." I'll sometimes double the meat recipe, brown all the meat patties, and then freeze half of the patties for another time. And leftovers are delicious!