1. LAMB, BEETROOT AND BULGAR WHEAT PATTIES
Makes 12-16 – enough for 4 or more
Fine or medium cracked wheat – 75g
Raw beetroot – 250g
A small to medium onion
Minced lamb – 400g
Garlic – 2 large cloves, or even 3, crushed
Chopped dill – 2 heaped tablespoons
Parsley - a small handful, chopped
A little groundnut oil
For the dressing
Cucumber – about a third of a medium one
Mint – the leaves from 4 or 5 sprigs, chopped
Yoghurt – 200g
1. Put the cracked wheat in a bowl, pour over enough boiling water to cover, then set aside to swell.
2. Peel the beetroot and onion and grate them coarsely into a large bowl. Add the minced lamb, garlic, dill, parsley and a generous grinding of salt and black pepper.
3. Squeeze any water from the cracked wheat with your hands and add to the meat. Mix everything together thoroughly, then squish the mince into little patties about the size of a flattened golf ball. Cover with cling film (do this tightly because the chopped garlic will taint everything in the fridge), then chill for at least an hour.
4. Set the oven at 180°c /Gas 4. Make the dressing by grating the cucumber coarsely and leaving it in a colander, lightly sprinkled with salt, for half an hour. Squeeze it dry then mix it with the chopped mint, capers and yoghurt. Season with salt and black pepper.
5. Heat a non-stick pan, brush the patties with a little groundnut oil and fry till golden on both sides. Try not to move the meatballs very much when they are cooking, or you’ll risk them falling apart. Once they are lightly browned on both sides, carefully lift them into a baking dish and finish in a hot oven for fifteen to twenty minutes (incidentally, you can only tell if they are done by tasting one, as the beetroot gives them a rich red colour, making it impossible to gauge by sight whether they are cooked).
6. Drizzle with the cucumber dressing and eat.