Kibbeh with Yogurt-Garlic Sauce (Lebanon)

Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
30 min
30 min
30 min

1 1/2 to 2 dozen, depending up

  • Outer Shells:
  • 1 1/2 cups fine bulgur wheat
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped yellow onions
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • Stuffing:
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cups finely chopped yellow onions
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Chopped parsley, garnish
  • Yogurt Garlic Sauce, recipe follows
  • Yogurt-Garlic Sauce:
  • 1 cup strained plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • To make the outer shells, place the bulgur wheat in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit for 20 minutes then drain in a strainer, pressing to extract the excess liquid.

  • In a large bowl, blend the beef, onions, cumin, salt, and pepper to a paste. Add the strained bulgur wheat and mix well. Process again, in batches, in a food processor until smooth and pliable enough to work like a dough, adding a little ice water if needed.

  • To make the stuffing, in a large skillet, cook the meat, stirring, over medium-high heat until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the onions, salt, allspice, pepper, and cinnamon, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the pine nuts. Let sit until cool enough to handle.

  • To make the final dish, with wet hands, shape the raw meat-bulgur mixture into egg-sized balls. Make a hole down the center of each ball with an index finger to make a deep cup with a pointed bottom. Stuff each ball with about 1 tablespoon of the stuffing. Press down on the sides and top to enclose the filling and reshape into a smooth egg with a pointed top. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, wetting your hands frequently.

  • Preheat the oil to 360 degrees F.

  • In batches, add the kibbeh balls to the hot oil and cook until golden brown and the meat is cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot or at room temperature, with the Yogurt-Garlic Sauce for dipping.

Yogurt-Garlic Sauce:
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine.

  • Yield: 1 cup

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