Monday, August 16, 2010

Ranch recipes: grass finished beef kafta

At the Meat CSA delivery the other day, a few of our members suggested that recipes would be helpful as they ponder what to do with their shares.

I have to admit, I am not much of a recipe person. Much to Nathan's chagrin, I view recipes more as a suggestion than a requirement. In a sense, I have to do so out here. Going to the store to pick something up real quick or going out to eat is never an option as we live way to far out for such a thing to be practical. So, I rely on flexibility and creative use of what I have on hand.

This week, I happen to have loads of parsley that did not go over well as an extra farm product at the CSA drop. So I made a lazy version of kafta, a Lebanese spiced meatball.

Kafta ingredients (clockwise from top): parsley, garlic, onion, ground beef, cayenne, salt, allspice berries and peppercorns

Since we have already established that I am not a recipe person, everything should be seasoned 'to taste'. Here goes:

1 lb ground grass finished beef
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1/4 t salt
1/2 t ground pepper
3/4 t ground allspice
1/4 t cayenne
olive oil for cooking

Kafta (from the Persian "kuftan" meaning to grind or meatball) is traditionally made into meatballs or cooked on skewers but since we've already established that this is a lazy version, we are going to skip that part.

Step 1: Prep ingredients. Thaw beef, chop onion, press garlic, chop parsley, grind spices if needed (all I had was whole allspice and peppercorns so I had to use the mortar and pestle but grinding your own spices is not necessary).

Step 2: Put a non-stick skillet on low heat and add just enough olive oil to coat. Add beef, onion and garlic and cook uncovered on low for 10 minutes (remember this is grass finished beef, so cook it "low and slow" folks. The fat melts at a lower temperature than conventional beef so if you turn the heat up to medium or high, all of the fat that should insulate and protect the meat during the cooking process is gone. With ground beef it is still palatable but try medium-high heat on steaks and it's shoe leather for dinner tonight!) Add chopped parsley and spices and continue to cook another 10-15 minutes or until ground beef is cooked through. Season to taste.

The seasoned meat would be delicious served with garlic sauce, tabbouleh, fattoush, hummus and flat bread for a more traditional meal. But really this is a great way to prepare ground beef for wraps, burgers or meatloaf. Or if you hear heavy boots on the stairs and know a hungry husband is headed your way, you could just slap it on a homemade hamburger bun with a little ketchup and call it good. No time for fancy meals in these parts.




Jarom said...

Ohhhh man, that looks good. I'm going to have to make some of this soon!

Jarom said...

AMAZING! We had it for dinner tonight... words cannot truly describe how awesome this was.....

Jake said...

Oh boy do I need to come over agai. I'm hungry just from reading this - it's not TOO late to thaw out some meat...

I miss your cooking Katia!

Katia said...

Our doors are always open Jake. Come visit; it gives me an excuse to cook new and interesting things.

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