Monday, 6 February 2012

Middle Eastern Lamb Kofte Quarterpounder with French Fries

Mrs Ribeye and I live about 5 minutes walk from Marble Arch in central London. Along the Edgware Road are dozens of Middle Eastern food shops and supermarkets, selling the most incredible range of exotic products.

On my last shopping trip, I gathered a whole bunch of authentic ingredients, and set about recreating a High Street favourite - the Quarterpounder with French Fries. Why did I do this? I think it's because I quite enjoy fusing cultures together and seeing whether I can make something which uses the best bits of both.

Here, a typical flatbread is traded for a ciabatta roll, to make the meal more substantial and easier to hold in your hands; and the regular hamburger condiments are traded for Middle Eastern-style dips. The 'burger' is a typical lamb kofte recipe, which can be bought from any Edgware Road butcher or deli, or can be easily made yourself (as I have here).

Try it - You'll never walk into a fast-food place again (until you're drunk and it's midnight and nothing else is open).

This is not fast food, and therefore not as cheap as buying a greasy burger from a chain outlet. But this recipe is still on budget at £3 per serving.

Serves 4

Lamb Kofte Quarterpounder


400g minced lamb
1 onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 teaspoon each of dried oregano, dried mint, dried chilli flakes, paprika, cumin powder, coriander seed powder, powdered cinnamon, salt and pepper
Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

Mix the ingredients together and form in to four patties. Fry in a dry pan, on a moderate heat, until cooked through and slightly charred on the outside (10-15 minutes approx). Do not move the burgers around the pan while cooking.


Garlic, Mint and Yoghurt Sauce


200ml natural Greek yoghurt
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of dried mint
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Pinches of salt and pepper

Mix ingredients together and refrigerate until needed.


Tomato and Chilli Salsa


2 large tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and finely chopped
1-2 large red chillis, deseeded and finely chopped
2 spring (salad) onions, finely chopped
2 or 3 drops of Tabasco sauce
Pinches of salt and pepper

Mix ingredients together and refrigerate until needed.


To Assemble the Burger


4 ciabatta rolls
Half an iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
8 slices of cucumber
1 large sweet onion, finely sliced into rings
8 large potatoes
Sunflower or vegetable oil, for frying

Toast the ciabatta rolls lightly on both sides under a grill. Spread the top half of the roll with the yoghurt dip, and then cover with the lettuce and cucumber. On the bottom roll, place the burger, followed by the salsa, then 2-3 onion rings. Place the two halves of the roll together and serve the Quarterpounder with the French fries.

To make the French fries: Peel and slice the potatoes into long narrow strips. In a very hot pan, deep fry the potatoes with the oil until golden and crunchy (30 minutes approx).

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