Keftedes

Grilled lamb keftedes with tzatziki sauce

Keftedes are basically lamb meatballs. They are a great meal that can be served on their own with sauce and a salad, or in a pita with sauce and freshly sliced red onion and tomato. The main concept here is to have a spicy meat offset by a cooling sauce. I don’t add anything very spicy to the Tzatziki sauce to create a balance between the meat and the sauce.

Grill Set Up:

  • Hot section for searing, medium heat for roasting

Keftades:

  • 1 Lb. ground lamb
  • ⅓ cup cooked long grain rice
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbl chopped fresh dill
  • 1 Tbl chopped fresh oregano
  • 3 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes (or other mild pepper like paprika to taste)
  • 2 tsp birdseye chili powder (or other spicy chili powder)
  • 2 big pinches coarse salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup grated red onion

Mix all of the ingredients together, and form into 1-2” balls, or torpedo shaped patties that match the length of the pitas you’re using. While these are frequently made in ball shapes, a torpedo shape (or made on a skewer as a kofte) can work very well. If cooking on a skewer wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour after shaping around the skewer. If grilling as meatballs use a grill basket.

Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 2 cups full fat Greek yoghurt
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded, grated, and drained/squeezed
  • Juice of one lemon (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 Cup of flat parsley leaves, packed, then chop finely
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • ¼ cup oregano leaves, then chop finely

To grill these you want to give them a good sear, and then roast indirectly for 15-20 minutes or so. Give the Keftedes a quick sear on high heat (about 1 minute per side) and then move to an indirect fire to allow them to cook through. A grill basket makes cooking them easier, just preheat the basket and shake it every 2 minutes or so to move them around.

Be sure to balance the spices/herbs to your taste. In general have a balance of herbal flavors (oregano, parsley) and a mix of deep peppers and spicy peppers (i.e. the Aleppo birdseye mix above).

Variations:

  • Deep peppers can be poblanos, guajillos, piment d’espelete, fresno, paprika or other mild peppers
  • Spicy peppers can be habenero, jalepeno, or finger chilies
  • For a variation that leans more towards Indian cuisine, see the last instagram post below. Recipe is in post and just follow directions of above recipe
  • You can always use fresh peppers, just mash them up using a mortar and pestle, or chop them very finely.
  • Spice this to taste. I like the meat to be spicy and the sauce to be cooling and aromatic
  • Top with chopped arugula, chives, garlic scapes, chive blossoms, or other green herbs
  • Substitute ramps, garlic scapes, leeks or other alliums for the garlic

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Are they grilled Yuverlakia? Are they Keftedes? I’m not sure, but they are delicious! Recipe in last photo #keftedes#yuverlakia#greekcuisine#grill#grilling#meatballs#bbq#cookedonfire#foodie#foodphotos#instafood#lamb

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Lamb Koftedes with tzatziki and tomato/arugula salad #keftedes #lamb #tzatziki #livefire #livefirecooking #firecooking #grilled #grilling #bbq #cooking #homecooked #lovetocook #foodstagram #goodeats #foodphotos #foodpics #grill #cookingoutside #foodie #goodfood #barbeque #fuego #churrasco #outdoorcooking #chicago

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My contribution to yesterday’s feast - cumin lamb meatballs with raita (recipes in photos) #lamb #cubeb #raita #chives #cilantro #livefirecook #livefirecooking #livefire #woodfire #firecooking #homecooked #cooking #bbq #foodgasm #grilllife #charcoal #barbecue #foodstagram #grilling #woodfired #cookedbyme #grilled #grill #goodeats #foodphotos #outdoorcooking #chicago

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