Recipe courtesy of May Yacoubi

Baked Kebbeh

Kibbeh or kebbeh is a Middle Eastern dish made with bulgur, ground meat and onions. It is often formed on skewers and grilled, but this baked version is cooked in a pan with the beef filling encased in a unique crust made in the food processor. You'll need both lean ground beef and fattier ground beef for this recipe.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Ingredients

Dough:

1 1/2 cups dry bulgur

1 pound lean ground beef (90/10)

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon dried marjoram

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon ice water, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Filling:

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1 pound ground beef (80/20)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup crushed walnuts, plus 8 walnut halves

Yogurt Sauce:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 medium cucumber, shredded (about 1 cup)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon dried mint leaves

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, for serving

Olive oil, for drizzling

Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Directions

Special equipment:
10-inch tart pan with removable bottom
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the dough: put the bulgur in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for 30 minutes then drain well, squeezing the bulgur with your hands to remove excess water.
  3. Mix the bulgur, lean ground beef, onion, cinnamon, cumin, marjoram and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a food processor and process to combine. Add the ice water and process until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. If necessary, add a little extra ice water to help the dough come together.
  4. For the filling: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and cook, breaking up into small pieces and stirring occasionally, until no longer pink in the middle, 7 to 8 minutes.
  5. Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in the bottom of a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Spread a little more than half the dough in the bottom and up the sides, dipping your hands ice water as needed to prevent sticking.
  6. Add the meat filling and sprinkle with the crushed walnuts. Cover the filling with the remaining dough by flattening several balls of dough and placing them over the filling like patchwork. With wet hands, pat and smooth the dough pieces into one mass to completely cover the filling.
  7. With one finger, make a hole in the center of the kebbeh all the way to the bottom of the pan. Score the dough into 8 portions with a chef's knife. Fill the hole with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and gently turn and roll the pan to oil the top. Press a walnut half into each portion to garnish. Bake until the dough is completely cooked through and the top of the kebbeh is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, make the yogurt sauce: stir the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, mint and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle the top of the sauce with the pomegranates, drizzle with some olive oil and garnish with a mint sprig.
  9. Remove the sides of the tart pan and slide the kebbeh onto to a serving platter, removing the tart pan bottom. Slice the kebbeh and serve with the yogurt sauce. 
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