Baked, Stuffed Kibbeh

This is a family recipe for a traditional Lebanese dish. This version of kibbeh is delicious because of the variety of seasonings and layered textures. I have happy memories of making this with my mom.


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Kibby Mixture: 2 C bulgur wheat (#1, fine) Cold water 2 lbs lean meat 1 large onion Olive oil 1½ teaspoon salt (or to taste) 1 teaspoon black pepper 1½ - 2 teaspoon allspice 1½ - 2 teaspoon cinnamon Dash nutmeg Ice water Ghee (optional) Filling: 2 handfuls of pine nuts 1 C onion, diced 1 lb lean meat Olive oil Salt and pepper to taste

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Soak the bulgur wheat in cold water for at least an hour before preparing kibby. Water should cover wheat by at least ½ inch. Prepare filling: In a skillet, with a small amount of olive oil, toast the pine nuts until browned. Set pine nuts aside. In the same pan, with a little more olive oil, sauté 1 lb of meat with 1 C onion. Drain any grease. Season with salt and pepper and combine with the pine nuts. Set aside. Prepare kibby mixture: In a Cuisinart food processor, process 1 C of onion with c C of cold water. When it is like a puree, strain the wheat or squeeze out the water and add it to the onion. Process until smooth. To combine the kibby mixture, keep a small bowl of ice water nearby to keep hands wet and cold. It will make it easier to handle. In a large bowl, knead the meat with about half of the onion and wheat mixture. Dip hands in water as you knead, adding no more than about ¼ cup of the water in total so it simply becomes soft, not mushy. Add the remaining onion and wheat mixture. Season with salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Assemble: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13" pan with a little olive oil or ghee. With wet hands from the ice water, smooth half of the kibby mixture evenly across the bottom of the pan. Evenly spread the filling across the kibby. Cover the filling evenly with the remaining kibby, using wet hands to smooth the surface. Drizzle a little olive oil or ghee over the top, spreading it out evenly with your hands. Dip a sharp knife in ice water and cut diagonal shapes in the kibby. Poke 3 or 4 finger holes in some of the diagonal intersections to allow oil or ghee to penetrate while cooking. Bake: Cook kibby uncovered in the center of the oven for 45-60 minutes. Kibby should be a nice brown. Allow to sit 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with good quality plain yogurt.