In our household, we really like tacos. When I say "tacos" I very loosely mean any sort of heavily-spiced ground meat or bean mixture topped with a few sauces, possibly some herbs and a few other toppings, all wrapped up in, well, some sort of wrap. This wrap is traditionally, and usually, a plain old tortilla, but packaged naan is also utilized rather frequently here. The meat may be spiced with a traditional dried cumin and pepper-heavy taco blend, but we've been known to switch that up on occasion as well. (Try a curry-spiced meat, almost too amazing). Anything goes with these tacos, really. Usually my plan unfolds like this: Saute some onion or shallot and garlic, add your dry spices and allow them to toast up in the pan, add your meat and serve wrapped up with the toppings and condiments of your choosing. Toppings and condiments can be whatever sounds good to you, but for me, must always include a cooling yogurt sauce of some sort. Tacos just aren't the same without it. This lamb köfte recipe is one I've been making for a few years and definitely falls into this taco-esque category I've created. Sauteed onions, lamb and spices with a cooling yogurt-tahini sauce and sweet muhammara relish. All wrapped up in some naan. Or a tortilla. Or whatever wrap you have lying around.
Lamb Köfte "Tacos"
Serves 2 with leftovers
adapted from this recipe
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp tahini
juice of half a lemon
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, cut in half and sliced
1/4 cup grated red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 pound ground lamb
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
3 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
4 pieces of naan, warm
For the yogurt sauce, stir together the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice and pinch of salt. Cover and allow to chill in the refrigerator.
For the köfte, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until browned, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes. Remove onions to a plate and set aside. In the same saute pan, add the grated onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, or 2 minutes. Add the paprika, cumin, salt and pepper and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the ground lamb and cook until no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped mint, stir and lower the heat to low while you make the muhammara.
In a small saute pan over medium-high heat, add the chopped roasted red peppers and cook for about a minute, stirring often. Add the water and the pomegranate molasses and cook until a slightly thickened syrup forms. Turn off the heat, add the chopped parsley and transfer to a serving bowl.
To assemble, slather some of the chilled yogurt sauce on a warm piece of naan. Top with the lamb mixture and sauteed onions. Finish with a few spoonfuls of the muhammara.
|Spiced lamb, mixed with the sauteed onions.|
|Creamy, cooling yogurt-tahini sauce. Very necessary.|