The Cookbook

A collection of favorite recipes

Tekirdağ Köftesi (Turkish Meatballs)

Posted by Sylvia on Tue 5 August 2008

I stumbled upon looking for something completely different and bookmarked it on the spot. Burcu has recreated as remembered from her hometown of Tekirdağ including these meatballs and a recipe for baked zucchini from her mother. I actually found the zucchini recipe first and then chose the meatballs as something to go with it. Burcu recommends a tomato salad and rice.

Unfortunately I was low on dried mint, so I used it on the zucchini and used fresh mint for the meatballs, a slight change which did not harm the flavor at all. I wouldn’t recommend trying fresh mint on the vegetables though as they would not stand up to the cooking time.

These Turkish meatballs are really nice — however, I would cut the chile seeds right down if you are serving to young children. Cliff and Connor thought they were fine but even Cliff turned down my offer of extra chile sauce on the side! The zucchini was lovely, soft and spicy with the flavor of the mint really coming through. I took Burcu’s advice and added a bit of garlic to the yogurt.

I did a simple salad of roasted pepper with chopped up preserved lemons as a side dish. The sweet flavor balanced well with the rest of the meal and the lemon was perfect. If I hadn’t used the preserved lemons then I think I would have used lemon juice in some way, as a salad dressing or mixed into the yogurt perhaps. The flavor really complimented the rest of the meal.

Tekirdağ Köftesi (Turkish Meatballs)

1 pound ground lamb
1 pound ground beef
½ cup bread crumbs
1 medium size onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp salt
3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp crushed pepper
1 tsp mint flakes
1 egg
2 tbsp fine semolina

-Knead meat, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, cumin, and salt well in a bowl with your hands.

-Add baking soda, black pepper, paprika, crushed pepper (pepper flakes), and mint, and knead again.

-Finally add egg and semolina, and knead well for the last time.

-Cover with clear wrap and refrigerate over night.

-First wet your hands and then shape into oval-shaped meatballs. At meatball restaurants in Tekirdağ, meatballs are served in finger-shaped forms.

-If you’ll save them for later use, place meatballs in a plate, freeze, and then put them all in a bag. They are good for months in the freezer.

-You can barbecue or broil them, or fry them with a little bit oil in a frying pan. The choice is up to you.

Source: Almost Turkish