This is a traditional Lebanese recipe that is delicious, healthy and full of flavour.
Traditionally Kibbeh comes in many forms; some are football shaped filled with mince and nuts, then deep fried as an apetizer. This version contains the same ingredients but is baked instead of fried, hence saving on time and calories.
Dare I say, however, it is equally as delicous!
To make (makes enough for a family + leftovers for lunch):
For the outside (kibbeh) layers
1/2 kg fine burghul- soaked in enough water for about 1 hour – Drain later before using
250 gms lean beef of lamb mince
One medium onion – chopped
Handful of fresh mint, or a few tablespoons dry ground mint
Orange or lemon zest to taste ( I dont use it because my husband isnt a big fan of lemon flavours in food)
2 tablespoons ground corriander
Ground black pepper
Salt to taste
- Blitz all ingredients in the food processor until a paste forms. It should be a bit grainy but not too rough.
For the filling:
250- 300 gms lamb mince
One or two large onions (according to preference)
Handful of chopped toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts
2 teaspoons ground corriander
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground clove
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 Tablespoon sumak
alternatively you can use middle-eastern Baharat Spice mix
Brown mince in some oil in a hot pan, add onion and cook well. Add spices and fry off until dry. Do not burn. Season well and add the nuts. Set aside for stuffing
Add half the kibbeh mix to a greased/lined baking tin (I used a rectangular 20X 30 cm pan, but you can use any shape). Flatten out to fom an even later. You might need to wet your hands to make this easier.
Add the mince mixture and spread evenly.
Now the tricky part! Make medium sized patties and place ontop of the mince. Do not press hard. Repeat the process as if you are making a quilt, then press the seams together to make an even layer.
Wet your hands and gently run you fingers over the top to form an even and smooth surface
Cut out to desired shape and drizzle generously with olive oil and or butter/ghee. Garnish with raw almonds
Bake in a medium heat oven until cooked and springy to touch. Place under grill for extra colouration/crispy top.
Serve with rice and yogurt salad.