Kibbeh Bil Sanieh: Spicy Baked Lebanese Lamb
I have been chasing my own tail for the last few days. So much is happening here around la casa Tripepi, not the least of which is a last minute trip to Underberg this weekend. I haven’t been to the Midlands since last year so I am incredibly excited to be saying goodbye to Durban and wending my way up the hill to some fresh mountain air. This is just what I need.
Carol has been a regular visitor here lately and every time she visits I score loads of wonderful fresh eggs and veggies from her farm. I intend to photograph this veggie garden for all to see. I just love a chat with her animals and sunrise in the veggie patch appeals to me no end! I wonder if I will see any fairies! I will go and see what the Underberg Meat Supply has on offer and a trip to Puckety’s farm stall is a given.
This Lamb Kibbeh recipe is another Middle Eastern favourite of mine – and I have eaten a raw version of this dish made with minced leg of lamb. It was kind of the Lebanese equivalent of steak tartar and it was absolutely delicious.
Some of our closest friends, Mike and Charmaine Makaab are both from Lebanese lineage and for many years we lived in a townhouse complex on the Berea together. The entire complex was overflowing with Tripepi’s, Domiro’s, Makaabs and Quattrocchi’s; all the children grew up together. We used to fondly refer to our block as the “Pueblo Ponderosa”. Charmaine would spoil us with some of her Lebanese specialities such as fish Kibbeh, a version of this dish that is absolute heavenly with its orange perfume, pine nuts and sweet onions.
Kibbeh Bil Sanieh
Layered Lamb and Bulgur Wheat
2 cups of Bulgur Wheat
400g Lamb mince
1 large onion
1Tbs ground cumin
1 tsp Salt & 1 tsp black pepper
1Tbs olive oil, plus some extra for brushing
2 onions finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1tsp ground cinnamon
1Tbs ground cumin
500g lamb mince
½ cup raisins
100g toasted pine nuts
Soak the bulgur wheat in cold water for 30 minutes, drain and squeeze out excess water.
Place the lamb mince, onion, cumin, allspice, salt and pepper in a food process until combined. Add the bulgur wheat and process to a paste.
I need to add here, that my little 20 year old humble Sunbeam Food Processor just didn’t have the guts for this job! It huffed and puffed and wheezed its way through this paste and managed to break the bulgur wheat up just a little bit. So if you have a nice strong food processor you should be fine, if not, no worries your Kibbeh with just have a little more crunch to it. No problem!
Refrigerate until needed.
Preheat the oven to moderate 180d and grease a 20 x 30cm baking tin.
To make the filling, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the cinnamon and cumin and stir for 1 minute. Add the mince, stirring to break up any lumps and cook for 5 minutes or until the meat is brown.
Stir in the raisins and nuts and season.
Press half of the bulgur wheat paste into the base of the tin, smoothing the surface with wetted hands.
Spread the filling over the top and then cover with the remaining bulgur wheat paste and again smooth the surface with wet hands.
Score a diamond pattern in the top of the mixture with a sharp knife and brush lightly with olive oil.
Bake at 180d for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is brown and crisp.
Cool for 10 minutes before cutting into diamond shapes.
Serve with the yoghurt dipping sauce I posted on Monday.
On Monday I will be posting the awesome Halvas Fourno recipe. This semolina cake is annointed with the most delicious syrup flavoured with cinnamon, orange and lemon. It is absolutely delish served with full cream yoghurt and honey.
Have the most awesome weekend!