Lamb Biftekia with Anchovy, sundried tomato and mint sauce

February 20th 2014

Biftekia is basically the Greek word for burger. After I graduated high school in 1999 my parents took myself and my sisters to Greece and I ate this several times, usually made with ground lamb, these were often served on skewers and served with different condiments. I decided to try my hand at my own version of these, which are similar to meatballs or meatloaf, I used a roll of delicious Papa George’s 100% American ground lamb and combined it with a few other seasonings. For my sauce I used another flavor packed pantry item….ANCHOVIES! Packed in olive oil and salt these lil’ babies can add umami flavor and depth to many dishes. Anchovies are not just for pizza, they are a great way to add the salt element to a dish, and I used mint, lemon, capers and sundried tomatoes to round out the flavors and served with the lamb biftekia it balanced out perfectly. Similar to the use of the condiment Nuoc Cham in Vietnamese cooking, this condiment can be used with a variety of roasted meat, veggies, or even as a topping for pasta.
Anchovy, sundried tomato and mint sauce:
3 olive oil packed anchovy fillets
2 Tablespoons chopped, oil packed sundried tomatoes
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos (you can use soy, I would suggest temari for this)
¼ cup fresh mint
¼ cup fresh curly parsley
Juice of one lemon
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons hot water
2 teaspoons capers
I like to use a mortar and pestle for this to keep a more rustic texture, you can you a blender or food processor but just pulse a few times. Combine anchovies, garlic, sugar, sundried tomatoes, mint and parsley, muddle until it forms a thick paste, add the rest of ingredients, and stir to combine. Can be made up to a week in advance and kept in the fridge.
For lamb biftekia kabobs:
3/4 lb ground lamb, I used one roll of Papa George's ground lamb
1/4 cup minced onion
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
6 bamboo skewers
In a medium bowl mix meat with other ingredients, portion into six logs. Wrap the meat mixture around skewers. Grill 4 minutes flip, cook another 3 minutes or so until firm. I used my indoor grill pan, you can also do these under a broiler, just watch closely to not over cook. Serve with anchovy sauce.