Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lamb & Beef Koubideh


Whenever I dine at Middle Eastern restaurants, I tend to order lamb because it's a meat I rarely cook with at home. There's something about the slight flavor of gaminess I especially like about lamb, even moreso when it's been grilled. One such grilled lamb dish I enjoy is koubideh or koobideh (koo-bid-day), which is seasoned ground meat (usually beef or lamb) formed on a skewer and grilled.

Every time I order this at a restaurant, I often think to myself how easy it would be to make it at home. Although there were countless recipes I've found for authentic koubideh, I didn't want to purchase ingredients I don't use very often. But I did find one that involved ingredients I already had on hand. Perhaps it's not quite the authentic recipe, but it was delicious enough for my husband and guests to tell me that these koubideh was more delicious than our favorite Middle Eastern restaurant. I've gotten requests to make this again and I plan on trying a more authentic recipe next time.

A quick note about ground lamb - my grocery store didn't have ground lamb on hand so I purchased the only cuts of lamb they did carry. Choosing only the ones that had little visible fat (since it will be combined with ground beef that had enough fat), I knew I could chop up the lamb and process it in my food processor to a consistency that would work well with my ground beef. So if you can't find ground lamb at your store, you can ask your butcher to grind lean cuts of lamb they do have or process it yourself at home.

Lamb & Beef Koubideh
recipe adapted from Spark Recipes

1 lb ground beef (80/20)
1 lb ground lamb
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped


Combine the ground beef, ground lamb, onion, cumin, sea salt and parsley in a large bowl. Mix with your hands to combine, but don't over mix or over handle to prevent the meat from getting tough.

Form into oblong patties (say 1x4) that are fairly flat. You should end up with 10 or so patties. I formed my patties on a skewer. It takes some practice to get the meat on there but I found working quickly helped me.


Refrigerate patties for at least 1/2 hour (up to about 8 hours). Then lightly oil your grill or grill pan and cook on medium high heat, flipping once, until cooked through. If you don't have a grill, you can bake them too. Preheat your oven at 350 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes until fully cooked.