Cooking with mince can often be very uninspiring. It usually ends up being turned into spaghetti bolognese or a chilli. Both of which are fine, but they are the go-to, easy options and become very boring quickly. Midweek meals are a tough one, especially for someone who loves food. After working solidly all day, the last thing most people want to do is to come home and slave away over a hot stove trying to produce a Michelin star worthy dish. I know I don’t want to do, but equally, I don’t want to just get into a habit of eating the same, easy meals every week. Food is a big part of my life and I want to constantly try new things or adapt recipes I have done before.
Now the weather is showing signs of turning and being more ‘spring-like’, I want to experiment with dishes that will be great for eating in the garden and perhaps cooking on the BBQ so there’s minimal mess inside. I think these are perfect for that. Every morning I ask my boyfriend, “What are we having for dinner tonight?”. Partly because food is always on my mind, partly because we sometimes struggle for inspiration. When you do a weekly food shop, you tend to buy meat without any real ideas in your head, knowing that when the day comes to use it, you will more than likely revert back to the old classics. So this morning when the inevitable question was asked, I already had these in my mind.
I tried them a couple of weeks ago with lamb but made them slightly too thick meaning they took ages to cook all the way through and the outside burnt slightly. I also adapted the flavours I put into them to make them more balanced. They were so quick to make, and they made enough for four people. I served mine with fresh salad, flatbread and tzatziki. I would normally make my own tzatziki but as I wanted this to be served quickly, I just bought a pot. Plus, there were only two of us so to make it would have meant that there would be loads left over that we just wouldn’t use. Another bonus is that these are super cheap to make if you’re on a budget! They work out to be around £2 per portion (including the salad), absolute bargain!
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 20 minutes.
- 500g lean beef mince.
- 2 green/ red chillis finely chopped.
- 3 garlic cloves crushed.
- 1 red onion diced.
- 1 tsp mustard seeds.
- 1 tsp cumin seeds.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 1 egg.
- Heat some vegetable oil in a pan, when it starts to get hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds. Cook gently for a couple of minutes until the mustard seeds start popping.
- Add the chilli and garlic. Cook on a medium heat for around 3 minutes. Ensure you keep stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Add the red onion and soften for 5 minutes. Season with salt and ground black pepper.
- Place the beef mince in a large bowl and add the egg and fried ingredients to it.
- Mix together with a fork. I wouldn’t recommend using your hands because of the hot oil. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Put greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Roll the beef mince into small burger shapes. You need to avoid making them too thick as they will take ages to cook through and will just burn on the bottom in the pan. Once they’re done, put them in the fridge for 30 minutes to completely cool and solidify.
- When you’re ready to cook them, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large frying pan. When it is up to temperature, add the koftas to the pan and cook on a medium heat. They will take between 10-15 minutes to cook the whole way through and will only need turning once. Serve with cool tzatziki, flatbread and salad.