These luscious, juicy and delicious meatballs are called Turkish koftas. I learned to make them from my friend Soner in Costa Mesa, California. He is from Turkey and was kind enough to teach me how to make these.
Turkish koftas are pretty easy to make but you do need some patience. They need to be kneaded for a good 20 minutes before they rest in the fridge. This is important for you to do for a perfect final result. The meat will marinade in the fridge and will taste amazingly.
These little patties are so amazingly delicious you will want to make a large batch. They are a very economical way to entertain a lot of people. Once they are cooked place them in a pita pocket with a yogurt sauce and fresh shredded vegetables. Absolutely wonderful.
Here is what you are going to need for these tender, mouth-watering Turkish koftas:
3 pounds ground beef – preferably 80%
3 garlic cloves – minced
4 TBS chopped Italian parsley
2 medium Roma tomatoes – halved
½ a large white onion
Red chili flakes
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 tomatoes – peeled and chopped
1 small red onion – finely chopped
½ lemon juiced
Pita pockets – cut in half
Salt & Pepper
Place the meat in a large bowl. Using a grating box, grate the tomato halves into the meat. Use the larger grating holes for the tomato. Turn the grating box around and grate the onion on the smaller grating holes. Add the garlic and parsley. Season generously with salt, pepper and red chili flakes.
Knead the meat for a good 20 minutes. Cover it and refrigerate it. Let the kneaded meat rest for a minimum of 4 hours or up to 24. Form small patties, small enough to fit 3 in a half pita pocket. Grill patties in indirect heat on your grill.
While the patties are grilling mix the lettuce, tomato and red onion. Season with lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Set aside.
Place 3 cooked patties in half a pita pocket. Top with lettuce salad, a dab of yogurt and extra red chili flakes. Enjoy!