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Hasanpaşa Köfte | Algero-Turkish meat and potatoes

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

When I was younger, in my the great days of my youth I was lucky blessed enough to have been able to backpack all around Greece and Turkey.  I guess this is where my love for history and food was born!

During my travels, I also sampled some truly great food! My most memorable experiences were in Turkey. Due to Turkey's  unique placement in the Mediterranean and its superpower during the Ottoman has influenced cooking of almost all the countries in the Mediterranean - including, Algeria, the country in which I live now.

As I've mentioned before, the influence of the Ottoman Empire can greatly be seen in the cuisine of Algiers and Constantine, where most of the Turkish pachas took up residence. Centuries of Ottoman empire rule helped to spread Turkish cuisine and ingredients into Eastern Europe and throughout the Middle East. Many well-known recipes show an influence from Turkish cuisine: yogurt salads, fish in olive oil, stuffed vegetables and vine leaves, and syrupy filo dough desserts.

Upon my arrive to Algeria, one of the first places I visited was the Le Palais des Raïs in Algiers, which right in the heart of downtown Algiers in Bastion 23. It was built by 1576 par le Dey Ramdhan Pacha, it's still being used for festivals, cultural conferences, Ramadan soirés and celebrations of Mouloud Ennabaoui Echarif. 

In Turkey, many dishes , are often named after certain historial figures as a way of honouring them. But in my opinion, these names also give much piazzaz to the dishes as well.

Like the origins of most recipes that came from 'Old Countries' to enrich the dinner tables of food lovers, the dish that I present today is one made for and named after a Hassan Pacha Ibn Kheireddine, (Hasan Paşa in Turkish) was the son of Raïs Kheïreddine Barbarossa (aka Red Beard) - who was a great Turkish Algerian ruler.

Hassan Pacha after the death of his father, was appointed ruler of Barbary coasts of Algeria in 1517. He ruled over the lands from the Moulouya river in Morocco to La Calle, which close to the city of Annaba, formerly known as Bone here in Algeria.

His father, the famous Turkish- Berber privateer-admiralswas apppointed ruler, or pasa of this region along with his brothers by the ruler of Constantinople in the early 16th century.

Hassan Pacha, a very liberal and popular man lead the Ottomans into many victories. And to honour all his victories this dish was prepared by the great kitchen in the Sultan's palace.I love this dish for many reasons: - it is a nice family friendly way of updating the same old meat and potatoes everyone seems to like, - it is a dish common to both Turkish and Algerian kitchens and finally - it just tastes great!

Now here is how this old yet relatively nouvelle cuisine looking dish went ... Hasanpaşa Köftesi called here in Algeria Kefta Hassan Pacha

Algero-Turkish meat and potato dish
Hasanpaşa Köftesi

active prep time: 20 mins | inactive prep time: 10min | cook time: 30 mins 
 6 servings

Meat rounds:
  •  500 gr ground beef
  • 1 small onion; chopped fine
  • 2 thick slices of stale bread  
  • Handful of finely chopped parsley
  • Handful of chopped fresh filyou (pennyroyal) or basil  
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small egg
  • Red pepper paste or Harissa ( to taste)
  • 150g (about) halloumi cubed
  • salt - black pepper

For potato puree:
  • 500g yellow potatoes 
  • ¼ L - 1 cup whole milk 
  • 1 TBS butter 
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • salt/ black pepper
  • 3 ripe skinless tomatoes (canned if also fine)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 1 tsp of sugar 
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 TBS olive oil

    Sauce making:
    PLACE all the ingredients into a robocoupe or foodmill. Process until sauce is formed.
    SIMMER on low until sauce is thickened.
    Puree making:
    PEEL the potatoes and then cut them into chunks.
    PLACE into a large pot to boil.
    ONCE tender, strain the potatoes.
    MIX the potatoes are boiled with other ingredients with fork, potato ricer or other mashing utensil.
    SPOON into a piping bag
      Making meatballs:

    CHOP the parsely, onion and garlic finely.
    ADD the meat, egg, herbs, onion, garlic, bread, and spices into a large mixing bowl. Gently knead the ingredients together.
    SET aside for 120 minutes so the flavors melt together.
    FORM mandarine sized balls from the meat mixture. Then using a cupcake mold or glass form the meat rounds that will hold the mashed potatoes. 
    PLACE one cube of Halloumi cheese on the meat round.
    SPOON or pipe the mashed potatoes mixure onto the meat rounds. 

    LADLE  the tomato sauce into a large baking dish.
    LAY in the meat rounds with the piped on potatoes.
    BAKE for about 30m on 200° deg oven until the potatoes are browned on top.

    Serve these with crusty bread or a side salad. Optionally garnish with olives and few herb leaves.

    Time- Wise
    You can easily premake the components of this dish days ahead, then assemble and bake.

    Subsitute ground turkey meat for a more healthier version.
    If you don't have Halloumi cheese on hand, you can use Kiri cheese, or omit the cheese altogether.

     Turkish, Algerian, Mains- Non Veg, 

    do you have any dishes that are part of your family's tradition? 

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      1. Your dish sounds delicious and love your presentation as well.

      2. I just happen to have some mince in my fridge and was thinking what to make.....you have provided me with the answer! Your dish looks delicious you really are great at taking photos, masha'Allah! Emmaxx

      3. Heni
        I was enchanted reading your post; even though the Ottomans were feared in our neck of the woods and were at times cruel rulers, causing famine and such, we still owe them a lot in the culinary sense like you point out; this is one period of history that has fascinated me always; the funny thing is this week-end I am making meat and potatoes too, except from another region, Mesopotamia! Love this kefta, with all the subtle but delicious trimmings, the kiri cheese and the halloumi adding lots of creaminess and flavor. Thank you also for the beautiful photos that really place us in the right atmosphere.

      4. Un vrai délice, merci pour ce beau et bon partage bravo

      5. Magnifique présentation !!! un délice, merci Hénia, bisous et bonne nuit

      6. bonjour ma chère Héni!!
        ce plat est délicieux et sa présentation superbe!! j'espère que tu vas bien ainsi que le futur bébé! passe une bonne journée! bises!

      7. so totally impressive post. awesome recipe. love the cliks..;)
        Tasty Appetite

      8. salam henia,
        comme ton plat a l'air bon, il est en plus très bien présenté, bravo

      9. Hi Henia,
        It looks delicious!!!! your photos are very beautiful, I enjoyed reading your article

      10. Hi Henia,

        It looks delicious!!!! your photos are very butiful, i enjoy reading you article.


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