Curried bulgur pilaf with lamb & beets
Vivid red lamb dish with an unusual collection of flavors and quite "healthy"
- 2 Tblsp mild-flavored cooking oil
- 1 cup diced onion (about one medium onion)
- 2 cans (15 oz each) diced beets
- 1 and 1/4 cups coarse bulgur wheat
- 2 Tblsp mild curry powder ("hot" curry will overpower other flavors)
- 1 Tblsp tomato paste (save the rest for the next time you make pastitsio)
- 1 pound lean ground lamb (Soay meat is always lean, so it works really well here)
- 3 Tblsp pine nuts, toasted
- Chopped parsley leaves for garnish
- Juice from one lime (optional)
- Drain beets in colander, catching juice in a 2-cup measure. Discard all but one cup of beet juice. Add 1 cup water to make 2 cups of dilute beet juice.
- Heat oil in a heavy medium-sized Dutch oven, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until just about to brown. Add bulgur and curry powder and cook, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes, until bulgur is fragrant and evenly coated.
- Add tomato paste and cook for 30 second, just to distribute paste.
- Add beet-water mixture carefully, bring to a boil, then reduce to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed (check after 10 minutes and again after 12 minutes - burned-on beet juice is really hard to get off your pan!)
- Turn off heat and let bulgur sit for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, lightly oil, or spray with oil, a skillet and cook the lamb over medium heat for 4-6 minutes or until pink is gone. Remove from heat and drain off fat, if there is any.
- Uncover bulgur, turn heat to very low, and add beets, cooked lamb and pine nuts. Toss to mix well and to get the whole mixture heated up a bit.
- Divide among plates, sprinkle with parsley, and squeeze a little lime juice and a little salt on top of each portion.