BY ANNA OLSON
What makes these take on burger sliders special is the spice blend AND the texture that define kibbeh. Soaked bulgur wheat added to the beef mix adds a crunch on the outside of the sliders.
Using top blade, that is cut by hand adds a more character to these sliders than using ground beef. They are actually quite “steak-y” tasting, and using the top blade means they are actually quite lean.
- ½ cup (125 mL) raw bulgur wheat
- 1 cup (250 mL) cold water
- 1 lb (450 g) Canadian top blade beef (flat iron or chuck tender)
- 1 medium onion, minced
- ¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 tsp (5 g) salt
- 1 tsp (3 g) ground cumin
- ½ tsp (1.5 g) ground allspice
- ¼ tsp (1 g) ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp (1 g) ground black pepper
- 1 large egg
- vegetable or olive oil, for frying
- ½ cup (125 mL) mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp (10 mL) dried harissa blend, or fresh harissa paste
- 12 mini pitas
- cucumber slices
- radish slices
- Place the bulgur in a bowl, cover with the cold water and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain the bulgur well and put this into a large mixing bowl.
- Trim away any silverskin from the beef and cut into slices WITH the grain about ½-inch (1.25 cm) thick. Lay this on a plate, cover with plastic and place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes (this makes them easier to slice). Slice the beef now ACROSS the grain as thinly as possible (this is called emincée) and add to the bulgur. Add the mint, salt, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, pepper and egg and use clean hands to really mix this well, until well-blended and it holds together when squeezed. Use a large ice cream scoop or divide the mixture into 12 portions and firmly shape them into a ball (meatball-sized)and then flatten to a mini patty. Place these on a palte and chill until ready to cook, or cook reight away.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed or non-stick skillet on medium high heat and add the oil. Drop in the kibbeh patties in the pan, leavina little space between them and then reduce the heat to medium. Cook the patties for about 4 minutes on each side, and keep warm until ready to serve.
- For the harissa may, stir the mayonnaise, lemon juice and harissa together.
- To assemble, split the mini pitas in half, place a kibbeh patty on one half and top with mayo, a few cucumber and radish slices and top with other half of the pita. Serve immediately.
* Spice pastes and blends are popular right now, so harissa (dried or in paste form) can be found at many grocery stores, not just specialty stores. Harissa contains, chilis, cumin, coriander, caraway, garlic and lemon, so when stirred into mayo, it adds a nice red hue.
* If you’d rather, you can use Labneh or Greek yoghurt in place of the mayonnaise