Quibe (beef meatballs)
Quibe are widely-enjoyed as a bar snack and street food in Brazil so they are an ideal way to bring a bit of South American flavour to your next gathering and a great way to make the most of minced beef.
- First make the sauce. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the tomatoes and chilli for 2–3 minutes until starting to soften. Stir in the red wine vinegar and sugar and cook for another 4–5 minutes, crushing the lumps of tomato as you go.
- Pour boiling water over the bulgur wheat to cover completely. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to sit for at least 30 minutes, until the bulgur is completely tender.
- Divide the meat into 2 lumps, one weighing 100g and the other 400g. Set aside the bigger lump. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion for a few minutes until softened, then stir in the smaller portion of meat (100g) and half the garlic. Cook the mince, breaking it up as you go, until it is browned all over. Stir in the cinnamon, cook for a minute, then remove form the heat and add half the mint and half the parsley. Leave to cool.
- Drain the bulgur wheat, pressing it to remove as much excess water as possible. Mix it well with the remaining meat, garlic and herbs.
- To make the quibe, take golf ball-sized pieces of the bulgur mixture and roll into balls. Make a dent in the middle and fill with the cooked meat mixture, then press the bulgur mixture over the top to seal it in. Roll into pointed oval shapes. Do this until all the mixture is used up.
- Pour 1-2cm (3/4 in) oil into a heavy frying pan and heat on medium. Once the oil is hot, cook the quibe in batches for 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through and golden. They should be crispy on the outside and hot all the way through. Serve with the sauce for dipping.
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