Serving
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Beef with Bulgur
Lebanon
  -   Bur'ghul b'lahem
Serves:
Effort:
Time:
Preprep:
6 main  
***
1 hr  
Most
A substantial and satisfying main dish - serve with a salad. Of course, few Near Eastern cookbooks admit that any meat but lamb is used there, but I call for beef because lamb is rather expensive in North America - and by time you've struggled to trim all the fat and bones there's not much left. This recipe also works with chicken.



1-3/4
2
14
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1
1
1/4
1
1/4
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1/4
4
1/4
#
c
oz
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#
T
t
t
c
---
c
c
c
Beef, lean (1)
Bulgur #3 (2)
Onions
-- Seasonings
Tomatoes
Salt
Pepper, Black
Mixed Spice (3)
Tomato Paste
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Ghee (4)
Water
Ghee

PREP
  1. Cut BEEF into cubes, 1 inch to 1-1/2 inch.
  2. Wash and drain BULGUR. Squeeze out excess water with your hands and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Chop ONION fine.
  4. Scald TOMATOES 1 minute in boiling water. Peel and chop coarse. Mix together all Seasoning items.
RUN
  1. In a spacious (3-1/2 qt.) coverable sauté pan heat 1/4 cup Ghee and fry Onions until translucent, then stir in Beef. Fry stirring until all exuded liquid is gone and you are getting some browning in the pan.
  2. Stir in Tomato mix and fry stirring for a few minutes. Pour in 4 cups Water, bring to a simmer and simmer covered until meat is tender, about 1-1/4 hour.
  3. When Beef is done: in a separate pan, heat 1/4 cup Ghee and fry Bulgur over moderate heat, stirring for about 10 minutes. If you see an wisps of smoke, turn off the heat.
  4. Spread Bulgur evenly over the simmering Beef. Simmer covered tightly, stirring now and then until Bulgur is fluffy and cooked. It should be just a little chewy. Check it as it simmers. If it is getting too dry and starts to stick to the pan, add a little boiling water.
NOTES:
  1. Beef:   Any stewing cut should work. It should be quite lean. Of course, if you want to expend the time and money you could use Lamb. Chicken also works.
  2. Bulgur:   #3 is medium coarse. Do not attempt to use regular cracked wheat. For details see our Bulgur Wheat page.
  3. Mixed Spices:   This is a standard ingredient in Lebanon and surrounding countries. See our recipe Mixed Spices - Baharat.
  4. Ghee:   This is a highly clarified butter, available in markets serving Indian and Middle Eastern communities. Whole butter cannot be used because it burns at a low temperature. If you are still afraid of butter, Olive Oil could be used, but the flavor will be quite different. Ethnic recipes often call for amounts of oils and fats appropriate for heavy labor, but not for our more sedentary culture. In both instances I have cut the amount of Ghee called for by the pattern recipe in half. You can restore the amounts if you want a richer dish.
  5. Method   The pattern recipe did most of the cooking in a "moderate oven" in a covered casserole. Here in Southern California we don't fire up an oven unless we really need to, and this recipe works fine, more conveniently, and faster on the stovetop.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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