“Chef Sharon Salloum says some of her best culinary knowledge comes from her mother, Violet, who was born in Syria. Her Lebanese dad, Michael, is the practical genius who creates cooking devices, such as the shopping trolley/fridge shelf/lawnmower barbecue, which cooks food to perfection.” Maeve O’Meara, Food Safari Fire
- 500 g minced (ground) beef
- 500 g minced (ground) lamb
- ½ bunch spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
- 1 large handful of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, very finely chopped
- 3 tsp salt flakes
- 1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
- 1 tbsp mixed spices or baharat
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- hummus and tabouli to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place the minced meat in a medium bowl with the spring onions, parsley, salt, white pepper, baharat and Aleppo pepper flakes. Mix and knead together until very well combined.
To shape the kafta mixture onto the skewers, pour the olive oil into a shallow bowl and use it to lightly coat your hands to stop the meat sticking to them.
Hold a skewer in your left hand (if you are right-handed; vice versa if you are left-handed). Pick up a portion of kafta mixture slightly larger than a golf ball in your right hand and pierce it through the centre with the sharp end of the skewer until the ball is about 3 cm from the point. Using the same hand, shape the kafta into a sausage, ensuring it remains evenly wrapped around the skewer. You should leave another 3 cm gap at the bottom of the skewer. You can leave more if you like, but don’t make your kafta too thick; otherwise, they might not cook through. Repeat with the remaining mixture to make 15–20 skewers.
Preheat your barbecue for about 10 minutes.
Cook the kafta on three sides (that is, turning twice) for 3–4 minutes each side or until browned. If you cook them on all four sides you risk overcooking the kafta, causing them to dry out.
Serve immediately – always with hummus and tabouli. They are a team that cannot be separated!
Recipe from Food Safari Fire by Maeve O'Meara (Hardie Grant, hbk, $55). Photography by Toufic Charabati.