kibbeh is made of ground beef, combined with bulgur, pureed onions and a mix of spices and basil. Many people in Lebanon like to eat raw kibbeh or kibbeh nayeh. My family and I are not big fans of raw kibbeh, so I make this kibbeh bl sineyeh recipe which is a baked version of kibbeh nayeh and serve it with salad and yogurt.
Kibbeh bl sineyeh is made out of a layer of cooked ground beef and pine nuts spread between two layers of fine kibbeh. The ground beef needs to be thoroughly minced. In the meat department at your local market, ask for kibbeh ground beef or double minced lean beef.
First start by soak the extra fine bulgur in water for half an hour and let it drain very well. The bulgur needs to be very dry when used, so it is better to plan on soaking it and letting it dry ahead of time. Give yourself at least a few hours to let the bulgur fully dry, alternatively soak and dry the night before.
Next, get your pine nuts ready. In a small frying pan over low heat and add 3 tbs olive oil and the pine nuts. Fry until golden, constantly stirring to avoid burning on one side. And set aside.
To make the kibbeh filling:
Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the chopped onions and salt- cook until wilted stirring frequently (around 10 mins).
Add the ground beef and spices and mix with the cooked onion- constantly stir to break up the clumps of meat.
Cook until meat is browned, then decrease heat to low and let cook for another 10 mins.
Add fried pine nuts to the meat mixture, the walnuts and pomegranate molasses and mix well. cook for additional 5 minutes.
Set the meat filling aside.
To make the kibbeh:
In a food processor, add the onion, basil and salt and spices and process until pureed.
Add the kibbeh ground beef a little bit at a time- continue processing until meat is blended well with onions.
Add dried bulgur a little bit at a time and process very well until you have a smooth emulsified paste.
To prepare Kibbeh for baking:
Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Lightly spray a large rectangular tray (11 x 8)
Divide kibbeh mixture into two even halves. Each half will make a layer.
Moisten your hands and spread the first layer of kibbeh by flattening it across the tray to form a smooth layer.
Add a layer of the prepared filling mixture- spread it across the kibbeh layer and press it down with a spoon.
Add the last and top layer of the other half of kibbeh mixture, also by flattening it until forming a smooth layer.
Using a butter knife, lightly mark the top layer forming a diamond or grid pattern (or any pattern that you like). Be sure not to press the knife deeply into the layers of kibbeh.
Brush with the olive oil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.