Afghan Grilled Ground Beef

2 lbs. ground beef (no less than 20% fat)
1 ½ cups finely diced green onion (both white and green parts)
1 cup finely chopped cilantro (stems are fine)
1 egg
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp. ground coriander
½ tbsp. finely chopped garlic
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)

Fire up the grill until it’s nice and hot.

In the mean time mix all ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand for at least 5 minutes. Pretend it is bread dough and knead the meat. Set the timer so you won’t cut the time short. It’s very important that all the ingredients are mixed well and the meat takes on a smooth texture.

Divide the dough into eight pieces and roll into balls. Pat the meat to form burgers that are about 1/4-inch thick and 4 inches in diameter, or larger if you like. Cook each side on your BBQ for about 5 minutes or until its cooked all the way through and juicy. While there is no “medium rare’ in the Afghan vocabulary, be careful not to overcook them. If you don’t have a bbq, no worries, simply cook the kebabs in a lightly oiled skillet for about 5 minutes per side.

Serve with warm pita bread, salad and a dollop of yogurt.

Makes 8 patties

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