2 garlic cloves, peeled
500g minced lamb or beef
1 small onion, peeled and grated,
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ tbsp ground cumin
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp ground allspice,
4 tbsp flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
50g fresh breadcrumbs
SPICY TOMATO SAUCE
3 large (about 360g) tomatoes
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped,
1 tbsp tomato puree
½ tbsp Turkish red pepper paste
1 tsp Kirmizi biber flakes
Yoghurt and garlic sauce
3 garlic cloves, peeled,
400g thick yoghurt,
1 tbsp olive oil.
TO SERVE: 3 pita breads, grilled and roughly chopped, 2 tbsp flatleaf parsley, finely chopped, olive oil for drizzling, paprika to sprinkle and lemon wedges.
1 To make the kofte, pound the garlic cloves with ½ tbsp sea salt in a mortar and pound to a paste. Place in a bowl with the minced lamb or beef, onion, eggs, cumin, paprika, allspice, flatleaf parsley and breadcrumbs. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Knead mixture with your hands until well combined. Cover with cling film and refrigerate until ready to use.
2For spicy tomato sauce, use a box grater and coarsely grate tomatoes into a bowl, discarding skins.
3Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté onion and garlic for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add tomato, tomato puree, Turkish red pepper paste and Kirmizi biber flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, add about 250ml water, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce reduces and thickens. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
4For yoghurt and garlic sauce, place garlic with ½ tbsp sea salt in a mortar and pound to a smooth paste.
5Transfer to a bowl, add yoghurt and olive oil and combine. Cover with cling film until ready.
6To make kofte, remove mixture from refrigerator and divide into 6 balls. Form the meat in a sausage shape along each skewer, pressing mixture into place. Cook the kofte on a hot barbecue grill or cast-iron griddle pan over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes each side.
7To serve, divide pita between 6 plates. Place kofte on top of pita, add tomato sauce and drizzle with yoghurt and garlic sauce. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle flat-leaf parsley and paprika and serve with lemon wedges.
This gutsy recipe demands an equally plucky red wine – yet one with juicy red fruits and abundant yet cuddly tannins. Sam Scott’s latest nero d’Avola is all of that and more. The dark plum and mulberry fruit flavours of the nero easily match the power of the lamb with the wine’s innate spiciness, in tune with the sweetly spiced Middle Eastern flavours of the dish. Nero d’Avola typically has gentle tannins and (relatively) low acidity, leaving the yoghurt’s cleansing acidity to cut through the density of the meat. The accompanying spicy tomato sauce sits neatly with the umami-laden flavours of the La Prova.