Originating in Iraq, these hand-shaped potato croquettes are stuffed with beef, herbs and breadcrumbs.
Makes about 16 kibbeh
4 russet potatoes
2tbsp dried breadcrumbs
4tsp kosher salt
2tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for deep-frying
2 medium onions, finely chopped
454g ground beef (80 per cent lean)
1½tsp freshly ground black pepper
150g chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
5tsp seven spices
5tsp ground cumin
1. Peel the potatoes, cut them into quarters, and place them in a large pot. Add water to cover the potatoes by one inch and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pot. Add the cornstarch, bread crumbs, and one teaspoon of the salt. Mash the potatoes and stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Set aside.
2. Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Then add the ground beef, the remaining three teaspoons of salt, and the pepper, and cook until the meat is brown and cooked through, another five to 10 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and let the beef mixture cool slightly. If there’s any excess oil in the pan, drain the beef mixture in a colander to remove the fat, then add the parsley, seven spices, and cumin and stir to combine.
4. Assemble the kibbeh: Take about two tablespoons of the potato mixture and form it into a flat disk in your hand. Place about one tablespoon of the meat filling in the centre. Carefully envelop the filling within the potato shell, sealing the filling inside. Once sealed, gently flatten the sphere into a small disk. Set aside. Kibbeh can be made ahead and frozen, uncooked, for up to a week.
5. To fry the kibbeh, pour the remaining vegetable oil to a depth of at least two inches into a large stockpot or Dutch oven and clip a candy thermometer to the side, making sure it doesn’t touch the bottom. Heat the oil to 375°F over high heat, then lower the heat to medium to maintain that temperature during frying. While the oil is heating up, line a large plate with paper towels.
6. Working in batches and taking care not to overcrowd the pot, slowly lower three or four kibbeh into the oil, using a slotted spoon. Fry the kibbeh until they are deep golden brown, seven to eight minutes. Remove with a mesh strainer and place them on the towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Allow the oil to return to 375°F in between batches, if necessary.
7. Let the kibbeh cool for about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
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