I must confess that I love “koupes” (pork-filled fried-bulgur pastries) but sometimes I feel bad eating them because they are fried. So I decided to see if I could make a healthy version of a “koupa”, and this “koupa” pie was born.
The meat on top tastes exactly like the inside of a “koupa”. The bottom provides the wonderful bulgur pairing. This is a fantastic dish to make for lunch, you can slice it and feed a crowd, and it is very easy to prepare. Unlike “koupes” which are a bit more time consuming. It’s all the wonderful flavour of a “koupa”, but healthy and easy to prepare. Note that I enjoy a thicker bulgur base, but if you want a crunchier or more meat-heavy pie, just cut the bulgur base recipe in half.
For the bulgur base
1/2 cup Mitsides Self Rising Flour
1 cup Mitsides Bulgur Wheat (Blue Package)
1 & 1/4 cups boiling water
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs olive oil
salt & pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp each)
For the meat topping
500 grams minced pork
3 minced garlic cloves
2 finely diced onions
2 heaped tbs diced fresh mint
1/2 cup diced fresh parsley
2/3 tsp cinnamon powder
1/8 tsp all spice powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
2tbs almond flakes
olive oil for frying
salt & pepper to taste
For the tahini-lemon dressing
1/4 cup tahini
lemon juice to taste (about 2 tbs)
1 tsp water
salt & pepper to taste
1.Prepare the bulgur base. (Note that I like a thick bulgur base, but if you want a more meat-heavy and crispier pie, I would cut the bulgur base recipe in half or just make 3/4 of it.) Place the bulgur in a bowl and add the boiling water. Let rest for about 1 hour. The bulgur wheat should have absorbed all the water and be soft to touch and edible – much like when you boil it, but a little stickier. If the bulgur wheat hasn’t reached this state yet, just add a little more boiling water and leave a little longer. Stir in the olive oil, flour, cinnamon and salt and pepper. The bulgur wheat should be sticky but you should be able to shape it with your hands.
2. Line a cake pan (with removable sides) with parchment paper. Add the bulgur wheat into the pan and press it down and into the corners to form the base of a pie. Preheat the oven to 200C.
3. Prepare the meat filling. Stir fry the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the minced pork, spices (including salt and pepper) and fry together until the pork has been cooked and all the liquid has evaporated. Add the almond flakes towards the end so that they don’t become soft.
4. Place the meat filling on top of the bulgur base. Sprinkle with more almond flakes as garnish. Bake for about 20 minutes. While baking, prepare the tahini sauce.
5. Remove the “koupe” pie after 20 minutes and drizzle the tahini sauce on top. Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
6. Serve immediately, with lemon on the side.