A small amount of ground lamb brings savory depth to a simple bulgur-based dish.
Bulgur with Herbed Lamb and Roasted Red Peppers
SERVES 4 to 6
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Looking to Greece for inspiration, we set out to create a bulgur recipe full of character and flavor that could be served alongside any number of dishes—from fresh salads, to hearty soups, to grilled vegetables and meats. Much as pancetta or bacon might be used to flavor a dish, we used ground lamb to create a rich, flavorful base for this pilaf-style bulgur; when we used larger pieces of lamb instead of ground lamb, the meat took on too central a role. We added roasted red peppers to the base with the onion to bring out the peppers’ deep sweetness. Fresh marjoram and dill offered a verdant, slightly floral counterpoint to the savory flavors of the lamb and bulgur. We found that adding the marjoram to the aromatics during cooking brought out its fullest flavor, and adding the dill at the end, off the heat, gave us the fresh herbal finish we were after. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice when serving added a burst of brightness and tied the dish together. When shopping, don’t confuse bulgur with cracked wheat, which has a much longer cooking time and will not work in this recipe.
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces ground lamb
Salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped fine
½ cup jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram or ½ teaspoon dried
1 cup medium-grind bulgur, rinsed
1⅓ cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add lamb, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in onion and red peppers and cook until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and marjoram and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. Stir in bulgur, broth, and bay leaf and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until bulgur is tender, 16 to 18 minutes.
3. Off heat, lay clean dish towel underneath lid and let bulgur sit for 10 minutes. Add dill and fluff gently with fork to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lemon wedges.