|2½ pounds||Boned leg of lamb from shank end trimmed, cut into cubes|
|1½ cup||#1 fine bulgur|
|1 cup||Warm water|
|The Versatile Grain|
|by Sheryl and Mel London|
|1 teaspoon||Salt or to taste|
|Pepper to taste|
|¾ teaspoon||Syrian Mixed Spices or|
|½ teaspoon||Allspice and|
|Juice of 1/2 lemon|
|3 tablespoons||Ice water|
In the bowl of a food processor, chop the lamb finely in two batches.
There will be approximately 5 cups total. Transfer the chopped lamb to a large bowl. Take off 1 cup of the lamb and wrap it, keeping it refrigerated for the Basic Filling Recipe. Place the onion in the food processor and process until very fine. Transfer it to the bowl with the lamb.
Put the bulgur in a small bowl and stir in the cup of warm water. Let the bulgur soak for 15 minutes. It should only be damp enough to allow it to absorb the meat juices when they are combined. There will be about 4 cups of soaked bulgur. Then add the soaked bulgur to the large bowl along with the paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper, Syrian Mixed Spices and the lemon juice. Mix to combine, then divide the mixture in half and return one half to the food processor, adding about 1« tablespoons of the ice water and processing until a smooth mixture is formed.
Repeat in the same manner with the remaining mixture, then wet your hands and knead both batches together in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes to let the bulgur absorb the meat juices.
Variation #1: To serve 6-8 people use « the basic recipe. Line a platter with romaine lettuce. Mound the raw lamb and grain mixture on the lettuce and press a pattern on the surface of the meat with the tines of a fork. Drizzle with olive oil and surround it with lemon wedges for sprinkling over the meat. The lettuce leaves are used as scoops.
Variation #2: To serve 6-8 people, use « the basic recipe. Wet your hands and scoop up about 1 tbs of the raw lamb and bulgur mixture at a time and roll it into cigar-like shapes. Mix 2 tbs parsley and ¬ cup finely minced scallions. Dip the rolls into the parsley-scallion mixture and then roll them in a small leaf of romaine lettuce to enclose them. Eat them with your fingers.
Variation #3: To serve 4-6 people, use ¬ of the basic recipe. Pinch off olive-sized pieces of the raw lamb and bulgur mixture and poach them in six cups of hot chicken broth over medium heat for 5 minutes. Divide into portions and serve as miniature meat dumplings with the broth.
Variation #4: To serve 4-6 people, use « the basic recipe. To prepare kufte kebabs, oil six metal skewers and form the basic raw lamb and bulgur mixture around the skewers. Brush them with melted butter or olive oil and grill or broil them, turning frequently, for about 3 minutes on each side. Slip them off the skewers with a piece of pita bread as a holder.
Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 10-17-95
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