The concept of raw meat being eaten has been around for millennia and there is many a dish that still feature this - with the difference that we nowadays know the risks of it.
What is Accin?
Accin is a local delicacy from the Turkish southeastern province Mardin made from raw meat, bulgur and a variety of other ingredients. It is a different version from çiğköfte, which is consumed in the southeastern regions but has gained popularity all around Turkey though without the raw meat.Jump to Recipe
Legend has it that the ruler of one of the towns in the southeastern regions forbade their citizens to light fires. All of the wood would be used to burn an enemy’s important ally. Everyone had had their preparations done accordingly except for one hunter who came home not knowing what was going on. With a fresh deer slain, he and his wife chopped it over and over again and mixed it with the other ingredients at home and thus invented the çiğköfte. (1) The forerunner of accin, so to speak. The story might sound familiar if you bring in the biblical (or Islamic, Jewish) story of Nimrod and Abraham. Nimrod wanted to burn Abraham and has all the wood collected, wanting to not only kill Abraham but the God he is believing in. There is still a hunter in the story and they come to the same conclusion of mincing the meat, adding bulgur, peppers, spices and salt making for the delicacy. (2)
But this way of preparing meat dates back much, much further back than any legend could tell: to the Stone Age. It is said that the Italian carpaccio has the same roots as this dish. Even earlier if we consider that humankind most likely first consumed their hunted meat before even discovering fire. The addition of grains, thin bulgur to be precise, can be traced back to about 110,000-92,000 years ago. (1)
Thanks to its long history, the dish is of course comes in many different forms. Kibbeh nayeh (raw kofta) is nowadays a popular appetizer in Syria and Lebanon and was considered a way to stretch meager resources but got popular in all parts of society due to its distinct taste. There’s even a vegetarian version made with lentils called bello in Mardin and kibbeh nayeh w’khodrawat in Syria. (3)
The cultural exchange of the dish is undeniable. The addition of the hot spices with this “köfte” kind is most likely due to the culinary influence of the Arabs, exchanging the spices with the Turks and the southeastern regions still sticking to them to this day. (4)
Lastly, the addition of fried eggs can most likely be linked to the filling properties of the little protein bombs, plus it makes it even more eye popping!
Accin: Raw meat meets eggs
- 300 gr beef minced meat
- 6 eggs
- 450 gr thin bulgur
- 1 onion
- 2 tbsp coriander
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 bundle parsley
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp salt
- Put the bulgur together with the red pepper flakes, salt and coriander in a bowl.
- Chop the onions finely and add them as well.
- Now pour a bit of water and start kneading it, or you could run it through a food processor until all the ingredients have become a smooth mass.
- The addition of water should be adjusted accordingly.
- Finally add the minced meat that has been run through a processor several times and continue kneading.
- Once all has been incorporated the mass is spread onto a wide tin and pressed evenly.
- Chop the parsley and sprinkle it all over it.
- Fry the eggs sunny side up with the butter and put them onto the dish and serve.