Quick and Tasty Beef Koftas

Looking for a winning dish for dinner?

Cooked beef koftas

In that case, you should know that these beef koftas are almost effortless to whip up; the bulk of the time it takes to make them is actually the 30 minutes chilling time. Winner.

They don’t seem that effortless to the people eating them, who will demonstrate their appreciation of your ‘slaving’ over dinner by showering you with attention and affection.  Win, win.

They’ll probably do the washing up too.  Win, win, win.

Of course, they taste amazing too.  Win, win, win, win.

Well, would you look at that!  It would appear that the beef koftas are quadruple winners!  There’s clearly no need for you to continue your search for a dinner dish, which is happy news, because by now you must be very hungry.  I shall delay you no longer and will proceed to tell you how to make this scrumptious meal…

Kofta ingredients

Serves 3-6 people, depending on accompanying dishes

500g minced beef
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
2-4 green chillies, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
1 egg
a handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon harissa paste (If I’d had harissa paste in the stores I’d have used it, and the dish would have benefited from it, so I’ve included it here)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 wooden skewers

Done your onion and chilli chopping?  Ok then, let’s get this show on the road…

Mix ingredients by hand

Throw everything (apart from the skewers) into a bowl and use your hands to mix well.

Shape onto skewers

Divide the mix into 12 rough balls then form into oval shapes on the wooden skewers (or make into patties if you don’t have any skewers).

Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Beef koftas

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or grill and cook for around 8-12 minutes on a medium to high heat, turning to ensure they’re browned all over.

Job’s a good ‘un!

Beef koftas with Mediterranean dips

Served here with a minty cucumber sauce*, pitta bread and a selection of Mediterranean dips*.


* Recipes to follow shortly 🙂

Cottage Pie (of sorts)

Because I’m something of a pedant at times, I’d like to get something cleared up: a shepherd’s pie is made using lamb and a cottage pie is made with beef. They are not interchangeable names,’k? 😉

Now that’s sorted, let’s clarify something else: a traditional cottage pie contains diced carrots and celery, perhaps some peas, and is topped with mashed potato.  This is not a traditional cottage pie recipe, but by swapping ingredients you could make it so.

Baked til golden brown

Serves 3-4

1 small swede
2-3 carrots
3-5 potatoes
a knob of butter
1-2 onions, diced
approx. 1 tablespoon oil
500g minced beef
some mushrooms, sliced
500ml good beef stock OR 500ml water & 2 beef stockpots/stock cubes
2 tablespoons cornflour, in a mug, blended to a smooth paste with a little cold water
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pinny on?  Peeler a go-go?  Ok then…

Set the oven to preheat at gas mark 5/375°F/190°C.

Carrots, swede and potatoes
Now, let’s get cracking with the root vegetable mash topping.

Peel and dice the swede, peel and slice the carrots, peel and cube the potatoes; place everything into a large pan of water and boil until tender.  Don’t bunk off while your veg is boiling – you need to get your pie filling ready.

Diced onionsHeat the oil in a medium pan, add diced onions and cook until soft but not browned.

Add mince and cook, stirring, until the mince becomes that attractive grey colour.

Sliced mushroomsDrain off any excess fat, add sliced mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes.

Stock pots and cornflourAdd beef stock and bring to the boil then turn down heat a little.

To thicken the gravy, ladle some of the hot stock into the mug with the cornflour paste, stir really well to make sure there are no lumps, then tip the whole lot back into the pan, stirring all the time. Simmer for another minute or so then remove from heat.

Minced beef and mushroomsPour into an oven proof dish (or individual ones) and allow to cool slightly. The cooling helps stop your mash sinking.

Add a good knob of butterWhen your vegetables are cooked (you hadn’t forgotten about them had you?), drain them and return to the pan. Add a generous knob of butter and a good helping of salt and pepper. Mash.


Pile mash on topSpoon mashed veg on top of meat and gravy, flatten down with a fork, then bake in the preheated oven for around 25-30 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

It’s a good idea to put an empty baking tray at the bottom of the oven to catch gravy overflow.

Cottage pieServed with braised red cabbage and steamed green beans.