Kibbeh with Yogurt-Garlic Sauce (Lebanon)

Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
30 min
Cook:
30 min

Yield:
1 1/2 to 2 dozen, depending up
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 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
Directions
Stuffing:

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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    My husband is Lebanese and i have lots of in-laws living close by. Lately i have been venturing on my own to try new Lebanese recipes and these Kibbehs will be added to my repertoire!! They look easy but now i know how much time and effort go into each of those little balls... However the end result is well worth the time and mess : now i feel like pouring myself a little glass of Arak... But it's too early in the day! Thank you Mr Lagasse!,
    This is really good!!!!!I don't eat fresh garlic, I treid it with yogurt pudding...yammm
    these are perfect...just like my mother makes them
    These are incredible. As an alternative to the sauce, eat the kibbeh with Lebneh.
    As I was raised on my Mom's kibbeh recipe I wanted to try something a little different. It was really good. I used ground sirloin so I could taste it raw (this is more traditional) and it works. Great with olives and pita.
     
    My Mom's recipe uses little seasoning. She used lots of fresh mint and 1 onion which she'd blend together in her food processor until it was a paste. She'd add salt and pepper to taste with ground sirloin and #2 bulghar. We'd eat this raw in pita or stuffed with pine nuts and fried.
     
    Emeril, she'd be impressed!
    Kibbee was ok
    These were very tasty. Everyone at my Lebanese dinner enjoyed them. The only thing I noticed was that I didn't need to fry them as long as called for, but I might have let my oil get too hot. I have left overs that I am going to crumble and bake in pyllo for a meat pie.
    This took a little while to make, but it was well worth the effort
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