There is this Lebanese restaurant that we go to called El Monte Líbano…my gosh they make the best kebbehs (they call them “kipes”) I have ever tasted! I have made kibbeh at home for years, and it’s really pretty easy. You can make them bite sized, as I’ve done here, or in more of a meat pie form. I tend to like the individual ones better, though, because the leftovers freeze and reheat really well. Usually when I make kibbeh, it’s part of a whole menu of appetizer type bites…including falafel, hummus, lebne mixto, kebabs, tabbouleh or shirazi, and whatnot else…Who doesn’t like to taste a bit of everything when they’re eating? And these things are all bite sized, so you can taste all of the dishes without stuffing yourself to maximum capacity (you know, unless you *want* to lmfao). I don’t claim to make kibbeh in it’s most authentic state…no….I don’t. But I will tell you this. It’s darned good. So, whatcha waiting for? Get your aprons on and prepare to get your hands dirty.
First, you’ll want to get all of your ingredients for the “shells” ready:
1 1/2 pounds (3/4 kilo) ground beef or lamb
1 cup small bulgur, plus enough water to cover
1/2 of a large onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
First, add just enough water to cover bulgur in a small bowl. Allow to rest while you add the rest of the ingredients to the meat.
Then add soaked bulgur to the bowl and mix all ingredients very well.
Use your hands and sort of knead the meat mixture until everything is very well combined (about 5 minutes).
Cover and reserve while you make the filling.
1/2 pound (200 grams) ground beef or lamb
1/2 onion, minced
2-3 cloves garlic minced
a splash of olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
salt and pepper to taste
a small bunch of mint, minced
a small bunch of cilantro, minced
1 packet pine nuts (about 1/4 cup)
In a medium sized saute pan, saute onion and garlic in a splash of oil.
Add meat and brown.
Drain off excess grease.
Add seasonings and lemon juice and toss around for a few minutes.
Remove from heat and add herbs and pine nuts.
Cool until easily handled.
Now, preheat the oven to 425ºF/200ºC, (I bake rather than fry, but if you prefer, heat a substantial amount of oil in a deep fry pan instead) and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Take about 2 tablespoons of the “shell” mixture and form a small bowl in the palm of your hand, then fill with cooled filling. Like this:
With your free hand, grab another tablespoon or two of the shell mixture and, pressing on the side of the bowl, form a sort of cover for the kibbeh. Pinch edges together to seal, and press with your hands to smooth the surface.
Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining ingredients.
Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until browned. (alternatively, deep fry until browned, about 10 minutes)