Kibbeh is a Lebanese food traditionally made with minced lamb but sometimes I really struggle to get minced lamb here. As usual I tweaked this and reshaped it to fit in with what I could get and what was in the cupboard.
They were actually new to me until my trusty photographer and friend mentioned she had tried them in a restaurant in Belfast. I can’t help myself, I googled the menu, set about my research and attempted my own recreation. They are pretty yummy. I have since discovered they are great cold too, just sliced and chucked in a lunchbox.
100g bulgar wheat covered in water then soaked for 20 minutes while you make the filling
250g beef mince (150g for kibbeh, 100g for the filling)
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of ground coriander
Pinch of ground ginger
25g pitted dates
Handful of flat leaf parsley
25g shelled and chopped pistachios
Pinch of oregano
1. Blend the spices (allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander and ginger) together in a pot and set to one side
2. Chop the dates, and pistachios finely and mix with 100g of the beef
3. Pan fry on a high heat for about 10 minutes (I would add a bit of water rather than oil to mince. Mince has enough of it’s own fat to render out and doesn’t really need extra)
4. Take off the heat and add in the parsley
5. Stir 150g of mince with the drained bulgar wheat and 2 good teaspoons of the spice mix
6. Divide this mixture into 8 balls and flatten to make a patty. Spoon a healed teaspoon of filling into each patty and squeeze the bulgar wheat and mince mixture around the filling moulding into a rugby ball or American football shape.
7. Leave them in the fridge till you need the or at least for 30 minutes
8. Fill a large pan with a couple of inches of vegetable oil and heat till a square of bread turns golden when you throw it in
9. Fry each kibbeh for about 4 minutes, giving it a turn halfway through, drain on kitchen paper until ready to eat
Great with Easy Flatbreads, Sauerkraut Salad and maybe some houmous. Also use sliced cold for a leftovers lunch.