Friday, October 30, 2009

Grandma's Lebanese Recipes: Kibbeh

This is the first of my weekend posts, which won't talk about my life at school. I will post one recipe from my grandmother's cookbook each week. Feel free to make requests in the comments section, and I'll do my best to honor them. Keep in mind her cookbook is specifically Lebanese.

I will post the recipes exactly as they appear in her book, with any notes by me in brackets. The numbering is mine as well, to make the recipes a little more clear, at least I hope so.

2 lb Beef (ground very fine) [some people make it with lamb]
4c Burghul [a cracked wheat]
1 small Onion (chopped)
3T or more Salt
1.5 c Pepper
1 t Shortening for baking [only needed for second preparation method]

  1. Wash burghul and mix with meat, onion, salt, and pepper.
  2. Pass thru smallest blade of meat grinder. Mix well with your hands adding water little by little until you get a soft smooth dough.
  3. Work dough into small balls. With your finger, make a hole inside balls and stuff with kibbeh stuffing [recipe to follow]. Fry in deep oil.
[second preparation method- follow steps 1 and 2 above first]
Another way to make Kibbeh is to take a piece of the dough, spread a thin layer in a well greased tray and smooth with your fingers.

Put stuffing on top. Cover with another layer of dough.
Smooth top, dipping your fingers in water.

Cut top layer diagonally twice with a thin knife. Insert knife around Kibbeh in tray to let fat go in. Cover with butter or shortening. Bake in a hot oven until firm and brown on top. Serve with any green vegetable or salad with leban. Serves 6.

Kibbeh Stuffing
1 lb meat (chopped fine)
1/2 c onion (chopped fine)
1/2 c pine nuts
5T fat or butter
Fry chopped meat and onion in fat until well done. Add pine nuts and fry for two minutes. Add salt and pepper according to your taste. Cool before using. Makes 1/5 c stuffing.

My Notes
  • If you don't have a meat grinder a food processor will work.
  • The balls usually taste better and are more fun to eat than the baked kibbeh. Make sure you make the outer crust of the balls very thin, so it gets nice and crispy. Making the outer crust thin takes practice.
  • If you are watching your weight, obviously use the baking method, rather than the frying one. You can omit the butter/shortening that is supposed to go on top of the kibbeh and it will still be good.
  • This dish is really good with plain yogurt and is frequently eaten this way in Lebanon. Alternately, you could serve hummus with it, but yogurt really complements it perfectly.
I hope everyone gets something out of this segment of my blog; I'm really excited about it. Again, let me know what you think, or if you have any Lebanese recipe requests!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the recipe. I'll be sure to try it out!