Simply Simply by Sabrina Ghayour

What the Turks don’t know about making kebabs just isn’t worth knowing. Tepsi is the Turkish word for “tray,” which is what this recipe is traditionally cooked in, and kebap is the Turkish word for “kebab.” I visited a butcher’s shop attached to a restaurant in Antakya in Turkey and was roped into hand-mincing the ingredients for this recipe using a giant machete-like knife. The mixture was then pressed into a baking pan and baked in a wood-fired oven. The results were spectacular, and the flavor so memorable I came back home and created a version in a shallow casserole dish. If any one recipe changes the way you cook, this may just be it. The meat is juicy, tender, and charred on top, and the ease of pressing the meat into the dish makes this a super-simple way to cook a kebab.

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 lb 2oz ground lamb (20% fat)

  • 1 onion, minced in a food processor and drained of any liquid, or very finely chopped

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and very finely chopped

  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, leaves and stalks finely chopped, plus extra leaves
    to serve

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon pul biber chile flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • generous amount of sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

To serve 

  • tortilla wraps or bread 

  • sliced red onion

  • Greek yogurt, optional

Preheat your oven to its highest setting. Select an ovenproof dish or baking pan (I use a shallow cast-iron casserole dish about 8½ inches in diameter).

Put all the main ingredients into a large mixing bowl and, using your hands, work them together well, pummeling the meat mixture for several minutes into a smooth, even paste. 

Press the meat mixture into the ovenproof dish or baking pan to cover the bottom. Bake for 18 minutes, or until golden on top. Serve immediately with tortilla wraps or bread, some sliced red onion, parsley leaves, and Greek yogurt, if liked.

Reprinted with Permission from Simply: Easy everyday dishes by Sabrina Ghayour. Copyright 2020, published by Mitchell Beazley, distributed by Hatchette Book Group.