Turkish Beef Kebabs with Tomato Sauce, Pita and Yogurt

This recipe is adapted from Arabesque by Claudia Roden; it’s a gorgeous cookbook with Lebanese, Turkish and Moroccan recipes.  We drank a chianti with this; a pinot noir or beaujolais would go nicely as well.

For the tomato sauce:
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Fresno pepper, chopped
1 14-oz. can crushed tomatoes (I like Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
salt and pepper
1 t sugar
Heat the oil and fry the onion until soft; add the garlic and chili pepper and stir for a bit until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar and simmer for 10 minutes.

For the kebabs:
1 1/2 lb ground beef
salt and pepper
1 small onion, very finely chopped or grated
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 t sumac
1 t Turkish seasoning (I got this from Penzey’s Spice; it consists of garlic powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, sumac, cayenne and dried cilantro- you could improvise with some or all of these ingredients separately)
Mix the beef and all the remaining ingredients very gently. Form into little sausage shapes and fry in a lightly greased pan or broil for about 6 or 7 minutes. Don’t overwork the meat.

2 cups plain European or Greek style yogurt
2 pita breads, torn into pieces and toasted at 400ยบ for 10 minutes until crisp (alternatively you could use pita chips)
3 T pine nuts
Saute the pine nuts in the olive oil until they are nice and brown.

On a plate, layer the pita breads; cover with the tomato sauce and then some yogurt. Lay the kebabs over the yogurt, sprinkle with sumac and drizzle some pine nuts over the whole thing. I served this with sauteed spinach.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *