Open Kibbeh

kibbeh - trust in kim

Here  is another Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from his Jerusalem cookbook.  It is not a traditional kibbeh recipe; this one is layered with a bulgur crust on the bottom, meat and onion, then the tahini on top.  It takes a bit of time to get this together, but there’s nothing really difficult about it.  I might make a little more of the tahini sauce next time, because I didn’t have enough to get to the edges of my kibbeh, and the meat got a little crunchy because of that.  Yet still yummy!

Serve this with fattoush or tabbouleh salad or even just a nice green salad.

What you need:

  • scant 1 cup/125 grams fine bulgur wheat
  • 200 mL water
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil/ 90 mL
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 green chile, finely chopped
  • 12 oz / 350 grams ground lamb (substitute beef if you wish)
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup/ 60 grams pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons self-rising flour (I just added a pinch each of salt and baking powder to regular flour)
  • 3 & 1/2 tablespoons light tahini paste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Line the sides an 8-inch/ 20 cm springform pan with wax or parchment paper.
  2. Place the bulgur in a large bowl and cover it with water.  Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the garlic, onion and chile until they are soft. Remove the onion mixture from the pan.
  4. Cook the lamb in the large frying pan for about 5 minutes, stirring, until browned.  Add the onion mixture and add the spices, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt, some freshly ground pepper, most of the pine nuts and parsley, leaving some aside for the top. Cook this for a few minutes, then return from the heat and adjust seasonings.
  5.  Preheat the oven to 400F.
  6. Check to see if all the water has been absorbed into the bulgur; drain any remaining water.  Add the flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper.  Work this mixture with your hands until it holds together.  Add a little more flour if it is too sticky.  Press firmly into the bottom of the springform pan so that it is compact and level.
  7. Add the lamb mixture and press it down a little.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the meat is very dark brown.
  9. While the kibbeh is in the oven whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, 3 & 1/2 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt.
  10. Remove the kibbeh from the oven and spread the tahini over the top (closer to the edges than in my picture!), sprinkle with the nuts and parsley and return to the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the tahini sauce has a little colour and the pine nuts are golden.
  11. Remove the kibbeh from the oven and let it cool until it is warm or room temperature.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sumac.  Remove the springform pan sides and parchment paper and cut into wedges to serve.

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