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If you visit Turkey, you’ll see köfte—balls of ground meat (or sometimes ground vegetables) seasoned with onion, herbs, and spices—everywhere. The recipes vary from region to region and town to town. Some köfte are made with bulgur, rice, or breadcrumbs; others are meat only, mostly lamb, but sometimes a combination of beef and lamb. They are served with flatbread, onions sprinkled with sumac, and yogurt.
Special equipment: Roll your köfte meat around wide, flat wooden skewers. If you use thin skewers, your köfte will likely fall into the grill.
You’ll also need four standard 4-1/2-pound bricks. Wrapped in foil and placed in pairs on opposite ends of the grill, they hold the ends of the skewers aloft so that the köfte float well above the flames as they cook. Bricks can be purchased at most hardware stores.
Game plan: To prepare the köfte indoors, set the broiler to high and arrange a rack in the middle of the oven. Form the lamb mixture into flat meatballs (no skewers) and place them on a baking sheet, making sure they’re not touching. Broil until the köfte are no longer pink in the middle, about 10 minutes.
This recipe was our featured Gateway Dish for Turkey.