I dedicate the kibbeh meat recipe to my late father, who taught me all the steps of this staple dish. He loved kibbeh in all its variations, and it was the last dish he asked me to cook for him. Hence, every step of this dish is linked to him. I can recall the memory of sitting with him in the kitchen, laughing, and cooking. I remember how he was laughing while giving me dull knives, not to cut my fingers. Rest in peace DADDY. You will be always in my heart.
2 ½ cups fine bulgur 2 leaves basil 5 leaves mint ½ teaspoon lemon zest ½ teaspoon orange zest 1 onion shallot 2 sprigs green spring onion known also as scallion 1-pound ground lean beef meat
½ teaspoon cumin seeds or ground cumin ½ teaspoon cinnamon 4 dried edible rosebuds ½ teaspoon dried basil ½ teaspoon dried marjoram 2 black peppercorns or ¼ teaspoon black pepper A dash of all spices ½ teaspoon kibbeh spices Mix together and use the desired amount and store the rest in an airtight container for multiple uses ½ teaspoon cardamom
In a bowl, rinse and soak the bulgur for 25 minutes. Remove the excess of the water by draining it in a sieve. Combine the bulgur with all spices and herbs and put the mix in a food processor. Chop until the mix is homogenous. Then, Put the chopped mix in a bowl and add the finely ground lean beef meat. Incorporate the 2 ingredients and knead for 5 minutes then put a small amount of the mix into the food processor until you have a dough-like consistency. While mixing in the food processor put 2 or 3 spoons iced water to cool the mix so the high temperature will not affect the meat quality. Be careful not to add too much-iced water. If the dough is hard to knead, you can add to it iced water until you have the desired consistency for shaping balls or patties.
½ teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon black pepper 1 onion shallot ½ pound ground lean beef meat 1 tablespoon oil for the onion
In a frying pan, put a big chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of oil. Sauté the onion for 2 minutes. Adding nuts is not mandatory. Add to the sauté onion ground lean beef and chop well with fork or spatula to ensure the meat does not stick together. Add all spices, salt, black pepper, cinnamon, and cumin. Once the beef is light brown and has no more sauce in it from the meat, remove from the heat. Cool for 10 minutes In a frying pan, put the pines or chopped almonds in ½ tablespoon of oil. Fry until light brown, it takes 30 to 50 seconds. Be careful not to burn them. Add the almonds or pines to the kibbeh stuffing and mix.
Oil a tray (9 inches or 25 cm) and spread the kibbeh dough using a rolling pin. Use plastic foil when spreading the kibbeh dough. The thickness has to be 0.6 inches or 1.5 cm. Transfer the dough to the tray. Spread over the dough the sauté shallot and ground beef. Repeat the same procedure for the upper layer and cover the kibbeh stuffing. Cut the top of the meat with any design you like. It could be a diamond or rose-shaped. When you cut the kibbeh, run the knife across the top of the kibbeh dough about ½ way through without fully cutting the layer on the bottom. Put ½ cup of oil on top and bake in the oven at 360° F or 182°C for 35-40 minutes. Some people like the kibbeh crispy others like it softer, so this is a personal taste. Be sure it’s well cooked. You can use a thermometer for this purpose. You can serve it hot or cold with a side of plain Greek yogurt, and a variety of salads
Kibbeh can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container, for up to 3 months. Avoid frying before freezing. Put it on a tray in the oven at 320°F or 160°C for up to 5 minutes. Let it cool, then place in a container and freeze.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Always store at 45 °F to 55°F or 7°C to 12.8°C
You can get food poisoning from any product when surfaces are contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, from mixing meat products with vegetables or using contaminates utensils (cross-contamination). Food can be also contaminated if the one who is handling food does not wash their hands properly. Carriers of Hepatitis A, staphylococcus aureus, or other pathogens also can contaminate food.
Bulgur may be contaminated with Aflatoxins- Aflatoxins do pose a serious health risk to humans, such as cancer. Two closely related species of fungi are mainly responsible for producing the aflatoxins of public health significance: Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Bulgur also can be contaminated with Bacillus cereus spore-forming bacterium
Notable onion pathogens of importance are the gray mold fungi, Botrytis species; The black mold fungi, Aspergillus species; The blue mold fungi, Penicillium species; bacterial rot, Erwinia species; bacterial rot, Pseudomonas species.
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