Barbechoo’s Beef Koftas with Homemade Flatbreads
BBQ Brave is all about being bold and taking your fire cooking to new levels, and this really made me sit down and think about how my own BBQ has progressed over the years. I started with the usual burgers, steaks and kebabs and then when the BBQ bug bit I dived into the world of low and slow. But before long, my cooking started to turn in a different direction. I started making less complicated food and instead I focused on trying different flavours. Suddenly, BBQ became a great way to learn new flavour combinations and styles of cooking. So I guess my one BBQ tip would be – don’t chase after the large cuts, smoked low and slow for hours. Instead, try taking the ingredients you are familiar cooking with and try out different dishes to cook with them.
This recipe has most of the basic ingredients of a good burger but we are mixing things up and doing something completely different with them. In fact, if you have some burgers in the fridge, you can easily swap them out for the mince in this recipe. This is my kind of food and over the years of cooking, it has brought me great joy. Let’s get started!
For the beef kofta
700g steak mince
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 ½ tsp cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp onion granules
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
For the minted yoghurt
1 cup greek yoghurt
3 tsp dried mint (or replace with ¼ cup fresh mint)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper to season
For the tomato & red pepper relish
300g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red bell peppers, diced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 green chilli, finely diced
Small handful of parsley, chopped
Small handful of coriander, chopped
For the flatbreads
500g strong white bread flour
285ml tepid water
4g instant yeast
Gem lettuce leaves, to serve
OK, I know what you’re thinking – that sounds like a lot of ingredients but this dish really couldn’t be easier to make so stick with me. First of all, the minted yoghurt is best when prepared ahead of the cook as it is much better when it has had a few hours in the fridge to develop the flavours.
1. Add the Greek yoghurt to a bowl then add the garlic, lemon juice, cumin and mint. I wasn’t able to get my hands on fresh mint so I used dried mint but both will work well. Give everything a mix together then season with a little salt and pepper. Give your yoghurt a taste and adjust the seasonings to suit. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least a couple of hours but ideally you can make this the night before you cook.
2. About one hour before you are ready to cook, you need to prepare your flatbread dough to give it time to rise. I made mine in a mixer with a dough hook attachment but you can make it by hand, it will just require a little more effort. Weigh your flour out into a bowl then add the salt and yeast.
3. Next you need to add the water but it is important that you check the temperature. I’ve found the ideal temperature to get a good rise on the dough is between 43-45⁰C. Use your Thermapen to ensure the water is at the correct temperature before adding it to the flour.
4. Combine the flour and water until it forms a rough dough then knead it for 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave it somewhere warm for 1 hour to double in size. That is all your prep work done, the rest you can do at the BBQ.
5. Fire up your BBQ and set it up for high heat direct cooking. This means your full charcoal grate should be covered with charcoal giving you a hot grilling surface across the full BBQ. While your BBQ is coming up to temperature, you can prepare the kofta.
6. Place your steak mince in a large tray and spread it out. Add all the spices to a jar and shake them up to mix them evenly. Add all the seasoning to the mince then get in with your hands and work the seasoning through until it is evenly spread throughout.
7. Next, form the mince mixture into the kofta. I didn’t weigh each kofta but you should get at least eight kofta from this mix. Place the kofta into a tray and put them back into the fridge to firm up until you are ready to cook. Time to get your flatbreads ready.
8. Remove your dough from the bowl and divide it into five roughly equal parts — no need to worry about exact weights, life is too short. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into an oval shape. Rub some flour onto both sides of the flatbread and this will allow you to stack them on top of each other until you are ready to put them onto the BBQ.
9. When your BBQ is up to temperature, place a cast iron skillet onto the cooking grates to pre-heat for a few minutes with some oil. Add the halved tomatoes to the skillet and toss them around to coat them in the oil. Allow the tomatoes to cook for 3-4 minutes until they start to soften and break down. Next, add the diced red peppers and chopped chilli to the tomatoes and stir.
10. When your relish is at this stage, you can start to cook the kofta. Remove them from the fridge and place them onto the cooking grate, directly over the coals. At this point, you can add the sliced shallot to the relish and give everything a mix. Give the relish a season with salt and pepper then toss in your chopped parsley and coriander. Remove the skillet from the heat and leave to one side.
11. After your kofta have had a few minutes to sear on one side, flip them over to sear the other side. Now that your skillet is off the BBQ, you will have plenty of space to cook your flatbreads. Place them directly onto the cooking grates over the coals. After a couple of minutes, they will start to bubble and puff up. When they are toasted on the bottom, flip them over to toast the other side. They should only take a few minutes to cook.
12. Keep an eye on your kofta and check the temperature regularly with your Thermapen. You are aiming for an internal temperature of 72⁰C which will keep the kofta nice and moist inside and perfectly safe to eat.
13. To serve, layout your flatbreads and place on some gem lettuce leaves plus a few picked parsley and coriander leaves. Place 2 kofta on top of the lettuce leaves then spoon on the relish. Finish with a few dollops of the minted yoghurt and you are ready to eat.
I really enjoyed this cook and it is often the simple recipes that turn out the best. I hope this has encouraged you to take some of the ingredients you cook with every day and by tweaking them and adding a few extra simple ingredients you can take your BBQ to new levels this year!
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