Remember those awesome Kofta Kebabs you ate in Marmaris or downtown Istanbul? Well they work beautifully with bison meat, and you can recreate them in your own northern kitchen. These ones are flavoured with highbush cranberry jelly, but in a pinch you could use red currant or blackberry jelly, if that's easier to find in your neck of the woods. The spiced yogurt is both cooling and invigorating. Have fun!
1 lb (454 gr) ground bison, moose, caribou, elk or beef
1 tsp. (2.5 ml) ground cumin
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) ground allspice (or a combination of nutmeg and cloves)
1 tsp. (5 ml) dried mint or 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) parsley, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) teaspoon salt
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) pepper
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) highbush cranberry jelly
12 to 18 wooden skewers, either 6-inch or 12-inch size
Put skewers to soak in water at least 2 hours before you intend to barbecue or grill the kebabs. Mix all ingredients together with a fork until blended, using a light hand. Form mixture into 12 oblong patties if you’re using longer skewers (2 such skewers are good for a meal-size serving) or 18 if you’re using the shorter ones. . Press each patty lengthwise around a skewer, extending it evenly along the skewer. (You want the meat to stay as firmly adhered to the skewer as possible.)
In the oven: Place the highest rack 6 inches below the broiler element, and preheat the broiler at high for 5 minutes. Place kebabs on a lightly oiled baking tray (no parchment paper, it burns at high heat). Broil for 2 minutes, remove from oven, turn kebabs cooked-side down, and broil another 2 minutes. If necessary, keep them in 1 or 2 minutes longer, but watch closely lest they burn.On the barbecue: preheat the barbecue at high for five minutes. Brush grill with oil. Turn heat to medium-high. Place kebabs on grill. Grill on one side for 2 minutes, turn with a pair of tongs, grill another 3 minutes. Be prepared for the skewer ends to scorch and even burn through—hence the tongs for turning
Place cooked kebabs on a warmed platter, wait a couple of minutes to allow kebabs to continue cooking off the heat, and serve with spiced yogurt on the side.
Makes 12 large or 18 smaller kebabs.
1 cup (240 ml) plain yogurt, preferably organic
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) tahini
1 tsp. (5 ml) ground cardamom
1 tsp. (5 ml) ground coriander
1 tbsp. (15 ml) lime or lemon juice
1 tsp. (5 ml) hot sauce such as sambal oelek (the cooking class team added another ½ tsp.)
½ tsp. (2.5 ml) salt
Whisk ingredients together until thoroughly combined, chill until ready to serve.
Makes about 1 ¼ cups (320 ml).
Note: serve kofta and yogurt with grilled or warmed pita, cut into four or six triangles.