QUIPE: THE DOMINICAN KIBBEH

Quipes or Kipes are the Dominican version of the Lebanese Kibbeh, and are made with minced beef and bulgur. Quipe is one of our most beloved appetizers, a party must-have, and this is the recipe that has inspired many on the internet. You too will love our kipe recipe.

– bulgur, (see notes) – minced beef, [0.4 kg] – 1 bell pepper, or cubanelle pepper, very finely diced – 2 basil leaves, or 2 sprigs parsley chopped – 1 small red onion, very finely diced – 3 teaspoon salt, (or more, to taste) – ½ cup tomato sauce – ¼ cup raisins – 2 cups oil for frying – ¼ teaspoon pepper (freshly-cracked, or ground)

Ingredients:

Step 1:

Put the bulgur wheat in a bowl and add enough water to cover and let it rest overnight, stir a couple of times while it rests (see notes).

Step 2:

Pulse onion and basil or parsley in the food processor until you obtain a coarse paste.

Step 3:

In a bowl, mix meat, bell pepper, basil, and onion. Add a pinch of pepper and 2 teaspoons of salt.

Step 4:

Using your hands, mix the meat with the vegetables until you get a uniform mixture.

Step 5:

Split the meat into thirds and set aside ⅔ of the meat for later use.

Step 6:

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium heat. Add ⅓ of the meat you've taken out. Brown the meat.

Step 7:

Add tomato sauce and mix well. Stir in ½ cup of water and the raisins and simmer over medium heat. When all the liquid has evaporated, remove it from the heat. Let it cool down to room temperature. Set aside.

Step 8:

I suggest squeezing the bulgur with a clean cotton tea towel if you are not sure if there's water left after sieving.Drain the leftover water from the bulgur and sieve to get rid of all the water (this is very important!).

Step 9:

If you want, you can also pulse for a couple of minutes in the food processor for a more compact texture.Add the remaining raw meat to the bulgur.With your hands mix the bulgur and raw meat, kneading it until it is mixed uniformly. This is a crucial step, the better mixed this is, the better chances of kipes not breaking apart in the hot oil.

Step 10:

Put 2 tablespoons of the mixture on the palm of your hands and roll it into a ball. Make a deep indentation in the ball by poking it with your index finger.

Step 11:

Place 1 tablespoon of the cooked meat filling in the indentation. Gather around the hole, closing it, and roll the kipe with the palm of your hands making it as compact as possible. Pinch the ends to give it its traditional shape. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Step 12:

Pour oil into a deep pot, and heat over medium-high heat (350 ºF [175 ºF]). The oil has to be very hot, cool oil will make your kipes break down and possibly ruin the oil too.

Step 13:

Being very, very careful with splatters (hot oil and cold liquids do not get along well) fry your kipes, preferably one at a time, dropping them in the oil with a slotted spoon to avoid burning yourself.

Step 14:

Place them on a paper towel to drain excess oil before serving.Open the first one when you are done; if there is any pink part inside it means there is still raw meat, a bad thing, fry the next one longer.

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