Turkish Pasha’s Kofta Recipe: Paşa Köftesi

How to Make Pasha’s Kofta


Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 slices day-old white bread, crusts removed  
  • 2 pounds lean ground lamb or beef
  • ½ small Spanish onion, grated ( ¼ cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon Turkish red pepper or ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks ( 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 4 ounces grated kasseri cheese ( ½ cup)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • (2 ½ cups)
  • 2 cups lamb stock or water
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. To make the kofta: soak the bread in cold water briefly and squeeze out the excess water. Combine the lamb or beef, bread, onion, garlic, parsley, eggs, Turkish red pepper, paprika, and cumin in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Moisten you hands and mix the ingredients for about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  3. To make the mashed potatoes, heat the milk and cream in a small saucepan until it is just warm. Set this mixture aside and keep it warm. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover them with lightly salted water. Bring the pan to a boil over high heat, lower the heat to medium, and cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes, or until they’re tender. Make sure they do not overcook. Drain them well.
  4. Place the butter and garlic in a saucepan set over low heat, stirring for about 1 minute, until the butter has melted. Add the potatoes and the warm milk-and-cream mixture. Season with salt and white pepper. Mash the mixture with a potato masher for about 1 minute until the potatoes are smooth and creamy.
  5. Using moistened hands, divide the chilled meat mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a round ball. Flatten each one slightly and make a well in the center of each one. Arrange the koftas in an ovenproof baking dish. Place equal amounts of the creamy garlic mashed potatoes in the center well of each one. Sprinkle with kasseri cheese.
  6. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and stir in the tomato paste. Add the tomatoes and stock, bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. The sauce will reduce a bit. Pour this sauce around the koftas—do not pour sauce over the potatoes. Bake, uncovered, for about 35 minutes, or until the top of the potatoes is lightly browned.
  7. Arrange the koftas in the center of warmed plates. Spoon the sauce around them and sprinkle them with parsley. Serve at once.