Chef Anna Olson makes the take on these Middle-East inspired sliders interesting with a unique spice blend and texture that defines Kibbeh. Soaked bulgur wheat added to the beef mix adds a crunch to the sliders. And, rather than making the sliders with ground beef, Flat Iron Steak is cut by hand to make the patties, giving them a ‘steak-y’ quality.
- Prep: 15 mins
- Cook: 10 mins
- Yields: Makes 12 sliders
½ cup raw bulgur wheat
1 cup cold water
1 lb (450 g) Flat Iron Grilling Steak
1 medium onion, minced
¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 large egg
vegetable or olive oil, for frying
½ cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp dried harissa blend, or fresh harissa paste
12 mini pitas
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.
Cut beef 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 to 10 minutes (this makes them easier to slice). Slice the beef now ACROSS the grain as thinly as possible (this is called emincée); add to the bulgur.
Add the mint, salt, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, pepper and egg and use clean hands until well-blended and mixture 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 on plate in single layer; cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice and harissa together in a bowl. Set aside.
Heat a heavy-bottomed or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Drop in the Kibbeh patties in the pan, leaving little space between them; reduce the heat to medium. Cook the patties for about 4 minutes on each side. NOTE: unlike ground beef, Kibbeh patties can be cooked to medium-rare or medium if you like your steak done that way.
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.
Chef Anna TIPS
Preparing the beef by cutting it by hand is called emincée. This is not difficult to do and allows you to control the cut and fat content of the beef you are using. Some styles of kibbeh are served raw, so hand-cutting the beef is a part of the traditional preparation.
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.
You can use Greek yogurt instead of the mayonnaise if desired.