The usual question, “What are we having for dinner?” My wife said, “Kūbide?” Kūbide is a Persian mixture of lamb and beef with sumac, either mixed into the meat or sprinkled on after cooking. My family does not like sumac, so I take it out.
Note: Advieh is a Middle Eastern/Persian spice blend with a variety of different ingredients depending on the particular cuisine. For this dish, I listed the ingredients I used for this one.
Frequently, Kūbide is grilled on skewers or made into meatballs. I decided to simplify the dish by turning it into a meatloaf. Once the loaf is in the oven the rest of the prep, the slicing of the vegetables and mixing the simple sesame sauce is a matter of a few minutes work.
Note: The usual accompanying starch for this dish is pita bread. I had run out—someone had eaten it for lunch—so instead of running out to the store one more time, I decided to make a Middle Eastern Rice to act as a bed for the meat and veggies.
Karl’s Weekday Kūbide Meatloaf with Sesame Sauce
½ lb. 80/20 ground beef
½ lb. ground lamb
1 tsp. Kosher salt
¼ cup yellow onion, coarsely grated
2 Tbs. parsley, minced fine
3 clove garlic, pressed finely
1+ Tbs. advieh
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. coriander
¼ tsp. cayenne
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. black pepper
¼ cup bread crumbs
1-2 Tbs. milk
2 Tbs. tahini
3 Tbs. hot water
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
pinch Kosher salt
1. Put the meats in a mixing bowl and breakup and mix them slightly.
Tip: While you want to mix the ingredients of the Kūbide thoroughly, you do not want to over work the proteins, so that they turn into tough sausage.
2. Scatter the salt, grated onion, parsley, garlic, advieh, turmeric, and pepper over the meat.
Tip: Use two forks to toss and break up the ,eat so that the seasonings are distributed.
Note: It is not important that they are completely worked in at this point. Meat is mostly protein and if you mix it too much the strands of protein will link together to make a tough, dense meatloaf. By breaking apart the beef and lamb you are letting the other ingredients in between the pieces of ground meat without working the strands together.
3. In a small cup scramble the egg and add the bread crumbs.
4. Stir in enough milk to completely moisten the bread crumbs.
Tip: This is called a panade.
5. Pam a loaf pan and press the meat mixture into all of the corners.
Note: My mother always baked her meatloaves directly in the bread pan. As a result, only the top of the meat was exposed to the dry oven heat to brown. My family prefers that I turn the loaf out onto a baking sheet, so that five of the six sides get brown and crusty. (See Maillard reaction)
6. Cover the pan and refrigerate for at least one hour to meld.
Tip: If you are hungry, you may skip this step or cut it down to a few minutes.
Note: Actually, you may make the dish up to this point in the morning, or the night before, and have it ready to pop in the oven.
7. Pre-heat the oven to 375º F.
8. Run a knife around the edges of the loaf pan and turn the meatloaf out onto a Pam-ed casserole—large enough so that the meat does not touch the sides.
9. Bake the meat loaf for 30-45 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 160º F.
Note: About ¾ of the way through the cooking time check to see if the meat is browning to your liking. If the meat seems a bit pale you may switch the heating element to broil, so that the top gets well browned. (See Maillard reaction)
10. As soon as you put the meatloaf in the oven, put the sesame paste and hot water to a small bowl and mix it until it turns into a smooth sauce.
11. Stir in the lemon juice, garlic, and salt.
Tip: Over time this sauce will thicken as the ground seeds continue to soak up the liquid. You may need to add more hot water to thin the sauce. It should be thinner, rather than pasty.
Note: This is also a good time to slice and chop your vegetables.
12. Slice the meat loaf into serving sized pieces and serve with the veggies, sesame sauce and pita or rice on the sides.
Note: For this dinner, I laid down a bead of turmeric rice and placed the meatloaf slice on top. Scattering the veggies over it. I then drizzles the sesame sauce over all.