This recipe was a shocker. It came from the slightly dubious site About.com but proved to be one of the best recipes I’ve tried. Not to mention I usually mess with recipes a bit- this one seemed just perfect. On a cold Saturday a few months ago I trekked out to Astoria to Titan market where greek imports are cheap and there are more varieties of feta cheese than there are stops on the N train. I was planning a Greek feast and this dish was far and above the highlight.
It was amazing for dinner and so good the next day in my lunch. The hot spicy tomato sauce is cut by the cool greek yogurt sauce in the most delicious way imaginable.
Greek Kebabs in Yogurt and Tomato Sauce
Adapted from About.com
You will need:
For the kebabs:
2 lbs. ground beef
2 large onions, shredded on a box grater (with liquid)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (from 1 small ciabatta)
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian
1/2 Tablespoon paprika (plus more for sprinkling)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and black pepper to taste
For the yogurt sauce:
1-1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the tomato sauce:
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add more if you want, but it’s pretty hot)
pinch of ground clove (or two whole cloves – but make sure to remove them)
1 cinnamon stick
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh pita bread to serve
1. Combine the beef, shredded onions, minced garlic, bread crumbs, parsley, 1/2 Tablespoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin is a large bowl. Mix well with your hands and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
2. While the meat is chilling, combine the yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 2 Tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
3. Heat 3 teaspoons olive oil in a large saucepan. Saute the onions for 3 minutes, add the garlic, and tomatoes with their liquid and cook for 3 minutes. Add the sugar, vinegar, cayenne pepper, clove, cinnamon stick and salt and pepper. Simmer for 40 minutes on a very low flame. Remove the cinnamon stick.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Take the meat out of the fridge and shape about 2/3 cup at a time into sausage shaped rolls, about 5 inches long and two inches thick. Drizzle some olive oil in a glass baking dish and arrange the kebobs so there is some space between each one. Bake for 40 minutes until nicely browned.
5. Turn the oven down to 125. Place the pita bread in the oven to warm. Remove the kebabs from the oven and plate the dish. First plate the kebabs and smother yogurt sauce on top of them. Then heap at least 3/4 cup of tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle with paprika and warm in the oven for 5 minutes just before serving. Serve with fresh warm pita bread.