Kofte- Meat Balls is a frequent guest in Turkish kitchens. A survery throughout Turkey has discovered that there are 291 different types of meat balls currently made. Meatballs are often named after the place they are made like Inegol Kofte or with the equipment used to make them like Satir Kofte or who makes them like Kasap Kofte. This recipe is generally made at homes when guests are expected. It looks grotesque when out of oven and full of surprises when sliced and served.
I want to take the opportunity to write several tips about how to make a succesful meat ball. These tips are more or less valid for all meat ball types:
- The more you knead the meat ball the better. You should knead with your hands, not with plastic gloves.
- Knead for at least 10 minutes. Then rest in the fridge. Knead shortly again when you take out of the fridge and then give the shape you want.
- The shape should be somewhat flat or the middle of it wont be cooked enough.
- If you are using bread, you do not need to wet it with water, the juice of the onion will be doing this.
- Parsley should be chopped really well.
- Two table spoons of milk (for 1 kg of meat) will make your meat ball more spongy.
- A tea spoon of carbonate or an egg (for 1 kg of meat) will make your meat ball more fluffy. However these two should not be used at the same time.
- The meat that you will use should be double grounded if possible.
- If you are ok with lamb buy the meat 50-50 lamb and beef; your meat balls will be more tasty.
- If you are planning to fry or cook in sauce the meat should have less fat, if you are planning to grill the meat should have more fat.
- Cooking should not be over too strong heat.
So with all these tips in mind, start preparing your meat ball. After you put and take out of the fridge spread on your oven tray. Make sure it even evenly spreaded. If your oven tray is small reduce the recipe proportionately, having the meat too thick will risk the cooking. Right in the middle, as a line put the filling. If you don’t have time you can use canned mixed garnitures for potato, carrot and peas.
Carefully roll over the ends in the middle. Make sure they stick, close the corners tucking in the fillings. Use the remaining egg white to seal the meat so it doesn’t crack. Just swipe it all over with your hands. Your meat loaf is ready for the oven. Once in a while take spoonfulls of the juice and pour it over so it doesn’t dry.
It will be ready in 45-60 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the tomato sauce. Depending on the time you make this dish use fresh tomatoes, tomato paste or tomato pure or all together. Some choose to spread this sauce on the meat loaf while it is cooking. It will work the both ways.
So just cut generous slices, garnish with sauce and serve. Potato pure will be a good company.