Prep 45 mins
Cook 50 mins
Tunisian Mubattan Bruklu. Recipe courtesy of Oliver Andreini, Culinary Institute of America.
- 6 cups olive oil (for frying, or vegetable oil)
- 1 medium head cauliflower (about 1 pound)
- 1 1⁄2 lbs ground beef (lamb or veal)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons tabil (a Tunisian spice blend of coriander seed, caraway seed, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, use separatel)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- all-purpose flour, as needed for dredging
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
- 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup water
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons harissa
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground red chili pepper
- Preheat frying oil in a deep-fryer or 8-inch deep saucepan to 375 degrees F.
- Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil and cook the whole cauliflower until tender about 10 minutes. Drain well and break into small florets.
- Place the meat, onion, cinnamon, parsley, tabil, salt and pepper in a food processor, in batches if necessary, and process until well blended. Remove to a bowl.
- Have a bowl of water handy to keep your hands wet while making meatballs. Meatballs are formed by flattening a lemon-sized portion of meat into a thin patty and wrapping the patty around a cauliflower floret to completely enclose. Form into an oval shape, then dip into the eggs and dredge in flour, tapping off any excess flour. Cook the meatballs in oil until golden about 4 minute, without crowding the fryer. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper toweling to drain.
- Heat the extra-virgin olive oil over medium high heat in a large saucepan. Dissolve the tomato paste in the water, and add to the pan along with harissa and ground red chili. Add the meatballs and cooked covered until most of the liquid evaporates, about 25 minutes. Add a little water to rehydrate sauce if it dries out before that time. Serve meatballs covered with sauce.
Interesting! I wish I had added more harissa. The meatballs were very tasty & perfectly cooked. I blanched 2 heads of cauliflower & put all not used into a gratin dish, buried it in parmesan & baked it until browned. ;) Everyone wishes there was more! The oil & tomato sauce did NOT want to mix. I whisked it together as best i could. The end result was very tasty. I served it over basmati to sop up the sauce plus in case the kids thought it was too hot, they could stir it together. No need, as posted it wasn't very spicy. Thank you! Made for Traveling Through Tunisia in the NA/ME Forum 10/13. Actually, I think this was a NA/ME Tag! Crosstag!! :)