Kofta & Potatoes in Tahini Sauce

I think this is our last recipe for the month from Falastin. Check out our other attempts: Lemon Chickpea Salad (Balilah), Saffron Butternut Squash Soup, and Chicken Musakhan! We’ll definitely return to this cookbook later though… we have quite a few more recipes earmarked. This has been one of our favorite cookbooks since the Kitchn Cookbook Club started. We’ve participated in the Cookbook Club since its inception, although we’ve missed a few months here and there.

I’ve mentally termed this recipe as “Palestinian Meat & Potatoes.” It has the hearty, comfort food qualities of any American meat & potatoes recipe, but with the flavors of Palestine and the greater Middle East. This is a great meal for a cold winter day, like we’re experiencing right now! The allspice is the dominant flavor of the kofta, and the tahini sauce is so rich – I licked my plate.

Kofta & Potatoes in Tahini Sauce

(Adapted from Falastin, by Sami Tamimi & Tara Wigley)
  • 1 lb baby red potatoes
  • 3 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 18oz (500g) ground lamb (80/20)
  • 1 medium onion, divided (1/2 grated & 1/2 sliced)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced & divided
  • 3/4 tsp allspice
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Slice the baby potatoes in either half or quarters, depending on their size, to yield bite-sized portions. Toss in a large bowl with 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1/2 tsp flaky salt, and 3 turns of fresh ground black pepper.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the potatoes out. Roast for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and slightly browned, and then remove to the side.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the kofta. In a large bowl, combine the lamb, the grated 1/2 of the onion, tomato paste, 4 cloves garlic, cinnamon, allspice, 3/4 tsp Aleppo pepper, parsley, 1 tsp salt, and 10 grinds of fresh black pepper. Form the kofta into 12 to 15 small, oblong pieces and set aside.
  5. Toast the pine nuts in a small pan over medium heat, for just 2-3 minutes, until they start to brown. Set these aside as well.
  6. Now make the last component of the dish. In a bowl, whisk together the tahini, remaining 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, yogurt, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and water.
  7. Now we’re bringing it all together… Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large, oven-safe pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the sliced half of the onion and top with 3 more turns of fresh ground black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then push them out to the sides of the pan and add the kofta. Cook, turning over a few times, until they begin to brown on all sides, approximately another 5 minutes. Then place the whole pan in the oven (still at 400 degress) for another 8 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and check the kofta for doneness (USDA recommended minimum for ground meats is 160 degrees F). If done or close, add the potatoes and the tahini sauce to the pan. Swirl so the sauce is even distributed. Return to the oven for another 3-4 minutes, until the sauce is hot and bubbling.
  9. Serve topped with the pine nuts, remaining 1/4 tsp of Aleppo pepper, and additional fresh parsley if desired.
Serves 4

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