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Armenian Lule Kebab

Cuisine: Armenian
Region: Common

“Lule” means “sausage shape” in Armenian. (In the Near and Middle East they like their Kebabs (burgers, really) to look like sausages: long and skinny.) This Armenian Lule Kebab recipe is a good one: fragrant, complex and completely satisfying. The non-Kosher among us can accompany Lule with mint-flavoured yogurt.

Yield: about 12 kebabs
Preparation time: approx. 20 min
You need: a food processor and a mixing bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 medium size onion, cut into quarters
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Kg / 2 Lb of lean ground beef. Ask the clerk to run it through the machine only once.
  • 1 Tbsp of tomato paste
  • 5 Tbsp of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 Tsp of Cumin
  • 1 Tsp of Paprika
  • 1 Tsp of red Aleppo pepper. If you can’t find it, see Notes.
  • 1+1/2 Tsp of sea salt
  • 1 Tsp of black pepper
  • 1+1/2 Tsp of dried oregano
  • 1 bunch of finely chopped parsley
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1 raw egg

Instructions

  1. Put the cut onion and the 2 cloves of garlic in a food processor.
  2. Process until onion and garlic are very finely chopped.
  3. DO NOT discard the juice.
  4. Put the meat in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add the processed onion and garlic – along with their juice – to the meat.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients to the meat, mixing well by hand.
  7. Using a 1/2 cup measure, make 12 balls.
  8. Roll the balls into sausage shape (called Lule in Armenian).
  9. Grill or broil the kebabs. You could use a cast iron grill pan, too.
  10. If you’re grilling or broiling you may want to skewer the kebabs. (Makes it easier to flip sides.)

Notes on the Armenian Lule Kebab

The recipe actually revolves around the complexities of the Aleppo pepper but, alas, it is difficult to find. Alternatives:

  • Combine 4 parts of sweet paprika and 1 part of cayenne pepper. A part can be a Tbsp or a Tsp – depending on the quantity you need.
  • Korean Gochugaru pepper. Similar taste and complexity.