Kafta bi Bandora

Description :

Lamb with herbs, onions, and spices make the juiciest version of this ancient dish.

Ingredient :

For the Meat:

  • 4 medium potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds; 680g), peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds (see note)

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt or fine sea salt

  • 3 1/2 ounces (100g) pita bread or crustless white bread, roughly torn (about 2 loosely packed cups)

  • 1 medium (6-ounce; 170g) tomato, cored and roughly diced

  • 1 small (6-ounce; 170g) yellow onion, roughly diced

  • 2 medium cloves garlic

  • 1 fresh green chile, such as Anaheim, jalapeño, or serrano, stemmed and seeded (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems

  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems

  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)

  • 2 pounds (900g) ground meat (beef, lamb, veal, or a combination), preferably 20% fat (see note)

For the Sauce and to Assemble:

  • One 28-ounce (794g) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed with their juices by hand or with a potato masher

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, crushed

  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 medium green bell peppers (about 5 ounces; 142g each), stemmed, seeded, and sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch thick rounds

  • Vermicelli rice, cooked white rice, and/or pita bread, for serving

Direction :

  1. For the Meat: Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). On a rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes with olive oil and a large pinch of salt, then arrange in a single layer. Roast until nicely browned, about 35  minutes. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine bread, tomato, onion, garlic, chile (if using), coriander, parsley, allspice, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, and ground coriander along with the 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon (9g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt (for fine sea salt, use half as much by volume or the same weight). Pulse, scraping down sides as necessary, until a coarse paste forms.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground meat with the processed vegetables and spices and mix well with your hands just until fully combined.
  4. Shape the meat mixture into 3-inch-wide by 3/4-inch-thick patties (about 15 to 18 patties), and arrange on a second rimmed baking sheet. Cook until the surface has nicely browned, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
  5. For the Sauce and to Assemble: In a medium mixing bowl, stir together crushed tomatoes and their juices with the olive oil and garlic along with 1/2 cup (118ml) water. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. In a 9- by 13-inch rectangular baking dish or a 10- or 11-inch oval baking dish, arrange kafta patties in an upright shingled pattern, alternating with potato slices and green bell pepper rounds (you will only need around 15 to 20 slices each of potato and bell pepper; reserve any extra for snacking). Add any accumulated juices from the katfa baking sheet, then pour tomato sauce all over.
  7. Bake until sauce is bubbling and slightly thickened and the bell peppers are browning in spots, about 25 minutes.
  8. Serve with vermicelli rice or plain white rice and/or fresh pita bread.

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