Recipe: Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb Koftas With Pine Nuts
Lately I’ve been really enjoying eating Middle Eastern food of all kinds. One of my favorite things is the spiced meat dishes, bursting with flavor from fresh herbs and spices that give an incredible depth of flavor. The other great thing about these koftas is the dipping sauce. You can either just buy tzatziki sauce and/or tahini sauce pre-made, or whip up your own in the blender. Drizzle over top and garnish with chopped fresh mint and cilantro for an absolutely delicious meal.
Our Lamb Is Raised In ParadiseOur lamb is raised on the North Island of New Zealand, in the incredibly beautiful foothills of Mount Ruapehu. The lambs are born and live their lives freely roaming the lush green landscape. These animals are raised by the Maori people native to New Zealand, and have been bred for generations for extraordinary taste and quality. They graze on verdant green grass rich with nutrients and are never given any type of antibiotics or growth hormones.
Why We Choose Lamb Raised In New ZealandLambs in New Zealand graze on some of the world’s most lush and nutrient rich pastures. The country enjoys a unique, subtropical climate that encourages animals and plants alike to flourish. New Zealand has some of the best conditions in the world for raising lamb, which might explain why their population outnumbers humans.
Cultural traditions in New Zealand make it the industry standard to raise meat humanely and naturally. New Zealand lamb is grass fed throughout its life, unlike American lamb which is often grain finished to encourage larger size and higher body fat percentage. New Zealand lambs are smaller in size, because they were allowed to grow and develop the way nature intended.
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- 1 pound ground lamb
- Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Tzatziki sauce and/or tahini for serving
- Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan over medium heat. Take care not to burn them. Crush in a mortar and pestle, spice grinder or in a pinch you can crush with the back of a knife and then finely mince.
- Finely chop the pine nuts and toast them in the same dry skillet over medium heat. Take care not to burn them.
- Add a small amount of avocado oil to a cast iron skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add in the garlic and onion and cook until softened and fragrant.
- Add the cumin seeds and desired amount of red pepper flakes to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes or until the cumin becomes aromatic. Set the mixture aside to cool - you’ll need to mix it into the meat and handle it with your hands for the next step.
- Add the lamb meat to a large mixing bowl and combine with the cooled onion and garlic mixture, pine nuts, chopped cilantro and chopped mint. Add a small amount of avocado oil and season as desired with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use your hands to mix until combined.
- Form meatballs about an inch and a half in diameter, then press them down into patties. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for approximately 15 minutes.
- Heat avocado oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Cook the koftas, working in batches if necessary, for 2-3 minutes per side. They should be cooked through and golden brown on the outside.
- Serve and enjoy immediately with tahini, tzatziki, and more freshly chopped herbs. Enjoy!
The Beck & Bulow Team Is Here To HelpAt Beck & Bulow, we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. We’re always here to help if you have any questions regarding your meat, want help making selections, or are just looking for some cooking tips. Every time you call our office, you’ll be directly connected with one of our team members right here in Santa Fe, New Mexico where we’re based.
cut of meat is pressure sealed and flash frozen immediately after butchering at the peak of freshness. We work exclusively with master butchers who make every cut with care and precision. All orders are hand packed at our Santa Fe warehouse, shipped in a reusable cooler with dry ice and delivered straight to your doorstep. Check out our selections of humanely raised elk, bison, grass fed beef, lamb, wild boar, poultry and wild caught Alaskan seafood.