Goat Koftas…A Taste Of The Middle East

Street food can be more delicious than the most sumptuous banquet. And one of the tastiest savoury street food dishes is a charcoal grilled goat kofta.

At present the idea of stopping at a roadside eatery outside Fethiye or Olu Deniz in Southern Turkey may only be a distant memory, but you can recreate the authentic flavours of the Middle East at home with this easy recipe for goat koftas, and the butchers at Top Meadow Farm can supply you with the minced goat meat required.

Place 600 – 800 grams of minced goat meat in a bowl, add a large chopped onion or four chopped shallots, clarified in a little olive oil, together with a handful of chopped mint and of chopped parsley. Season with four cloves of garlic finely chopped, two teaspoons ground cumin, ground black pepper and some ground cinnamon, nutmeg or mace and, if desired, a pinch of chilli. Mix the ingredients well and form into patties or sausage shapes and place in the refrigerator preferably for a couple of hours before cooking.

Meanwhile prepare the accompaniments : finely sliced red onion, tomato and cucumber slices and finely shredded white cabbage. And of course the “cacik”, which you may recognise from its Greek counterpart, “tzatziki”. Chop or grate one small or half a large cucumber, sprinkle generously with salt and leave in a colander to drain away some of the moisture. Then place in a bowl with a finely chopped clove of garlic, some chopped mint leaves and add an equal amount of yogurt. Mix well and season to taste before chilling in the refrigerator.

The goat koftas are delicious barbecued, but can be fried in a little olive oil, turning regularly to ensure even cooking.

Serve the spicy goat koftas in warmed pitta bread, allowing your guests to pile on their favourite salad ingredients and cacik dressing, with maybe a pickled pepper or some halloumi cheese on top, and, of course, some French fries to complete the street food experience.