Goat Kebabs (Koobideh)
A hot, sizzling goat kebab straight off the grill is meal the whole family will enjoy, and a good way to introduce people to how delicious goat can be if they haven’t eaten it before. We have another recipe for lamb kebabs here where Chef Spangler walks you through grinding your own meat with special ingredients for a fun weekend project, but, if you’re in a pinch, this kebab (also known as koobideh) can be thrown together in just a few minutes using a stand mixer, or just your hands if need be.
Chef Bergo’s version of goat kebabs are rustic, and traditional–inspired by the great kebabs that can be found served around the Twin Cities metro area in restaurants founded by Middle Eastern natives. Traditional, to him, meant a few different things: less spices as opposed to more, the inclusion of sumac and tumeric, and baking soda.
It might sound odd to put a leavening agent in a sausage, but it’s actually very common, and serves the dual purpose of tenderizing the meat a bit, and giving it a bit of lift. Besides Middle-Eastern cuisine, baking soda is also used in Asian and Chinese cuisine for the same benefits–often with sliced meat that will be stir-fried.
The recipe is just for simple hand-formed goat kebabs. The garnishes are up to you. Chef Bergo favors a rustic presentation, and likes carving skewers from oak trees, although any skewer will do.
The garnishes pictured are marinated feta with fresh mint and olive oil, a light salad of nasturtiums and hosta flowers, fresh sliced cucumbers, and cracked marinated olives. Chef suggests serving them with whatever you have available that sounds good to you.
This recipe is by chef Alan Bergo. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a veteran of the culinary industry, former executive chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Founder of the website Forager Chef, he’s best known as a respected authority on Midwestern foraging. Learn more about Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at Forager Chef.
Lamb or Goat Koobideh Kebabs
- Stand mixer (optional) Skewers
- 6 grams 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon sumac plus more for garnishing (optional)
- 1 small yellow onion grated, drained of juice
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground toasted cumin seed
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer and work with the paddle attachment for 5 minutes or until the mixture looks tacky and forms a mass.
- Remove the koobideh mixture and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours before forming. If using wood skewers, soak them in cold water for an hour before wrapping the meat around them.
- Divide the meat into 10 even-sized balls, then form into sausage shapes and wrap around a skewer or kebob. Grill, roast, or pan fry the koobideh, preferably until medium, then serve.