Do you think we should mess with recipes of well known, well respected, clever chefs?
Mmmm, maybe not.
But this time you should because these Koupes are so tasty with a couple of extra ingredients added.
In George Colombaris’ fabulous cookbook “Greek Cookery from the Hellenic Heart”, he lists Koupes under the category ” My mum’s Cypriot Heart” so I would suspect this is a very traditional recipe. But I’m of the belief that even traditional recipes can do with a little bit of tweaking. Just a bit more cinnamon, flick in some garlic and a dash of oregano and mint, that’s all. Really, it does make a difference and then…don’t forget the extra sprinkle of salt and squeeze of lemon as you eat them out of the hand.
2 cups fine burghul ( cracked wheat)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
50 ml olive oil
150g beef mince
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves galic, chopped finely
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup parsely, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried mint
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil, for frying
lemon and salt for serving
Make the dough by pouring the boiling water over the burghul and salt. Stir it well, cover and leave it for 2 hours.
After 2 hours add the flour, cinnamon and pepper. Knead well. You may need to add a few drops more water to bring it together but that’s all. It should be quite firm.
In the meantime, prepare your filling. Heat a pan, add the mince and brown well. Allow all the juices to evaporate. Then add the onion and garlic and continue to cook, sweating the onion off. Add the remaining filling ingredients. Mix well and then allow to cool.
Take a small amount of dough ( George recommends 50g). Moisten your hands with olive oil, this is important. Flatten out the dough on the palm of your hand and place a tablespoon of filling in the middle. Fold over the sides of the dough and press together to enclose the filling and form an oval-shaped ball.
You could prepare these well in advance then shallow fry them in hot vegetable oil at the last minute. Drain your koupes on paper towels and serve hot.
… with a squeeze of lemon and…
… a sprinkle of salt.