Kibbeh with Yogurt/Garlic Sauce
Kibbeh are Middle-Eastern meatballs with a crunchy bulgur wheat shell.
1 1/2 cups fine bulgur wheat
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped yellow onions
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 pound ground beef
3/4 cups finely chopped yellow onions
1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup strained plain yogurt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil, for frying
Chopped parsley, garnish
Yogurt Garlic Sauce, recipe follows
To make the outer shells, place the bulgur wheat in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit for 20 minutes then drain in a strainer, pressing to extract the excess liquid.
In a large bowl, blend the beef, onions, cumin, salt, and pepper to a paste. Add the strained bulgur wheat and mix well. Process again, in batches, in a food processor until smooth and pliable enough to work like a dough, adding a little ice water if needed.
To make the stuffing, in a large skillet, cook the meat, stirring, over medium-high heat until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the onions, salt, allspice, pepper, and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the pine nuts. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
To make the final dish, with wet hands, shape the raw meat-bulgur mixture into egg-sized balls. Make a hole down the center of each ball with an index finger to make a deep cup with a pointed bottom. Stuff each ball with about 1 tablespoon of the stuffing. Press down on the sides and top to enclose the filling and reshape into a smooth egg with a pointed top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, wetting your hands frequently.
Preheat the oil to 360 degrees F.
In batches, add the kibbeh balls to the hot oil and cook until golden brown and the meat is cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot or at room temperature, with the Yogurt-Garlic Sauce for dipping.
For the Sauce, in a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine.