Baked kubbeh or is it kibbeh

If you had a hard time pronouncing my Awwameh or hareeseh post titles I thought I would add another middle eastern dish to you list of yummy yet tricky to say dishes.Kibbe, Kibbeh, Kibbi, Kubbeh, Kebbeh  is a very famous Levantine dish (If you suffer reading these, I suffer with trying to find the right spelling of these arabic words lol). Kubbeh is served as an appetizer, main dish, party food or even the perfect portable lunch. Kubbeh comes in many shapes, forms and types. Aleppo in Syria is famous for having over 17 types of it! These include kubbeh prepared with sumac , yogurt ,quince , lemon juice, pomegranate sauce, cherry sauce, and other varieties, such as the ,disk kubbeh  and the raw kubbeh.

The recipe I am sharing today is for one of the two most famous types of kubbeh , baked kubbeh or kubbeh bel saineh.The other is the fried kubbeh (my favorite type)which I will be sharing with you soon.

Baked kubbeh makes for an elegant dish to serve to friends and family alike. You can serve it with a salad as a main dish or you can make it into smaller portions and serve it as an appetizer.The combination of spices, meat and bulgur is one you should definitely try if you have not already.

 

For the stuffing

250g beef or lamb mince

2 heaped tablespoons pine nuts or almonds (optional)

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (optional)

1 small, finely chopped onion

Olive oil

Pinch cinnamon, cardamom, all spice

Salt

For the base and top

250 g bulgur wheat

250 g minced beef or lamb

1 medium onion

1/2 teaspoon all spice

1/4 teaspoon sumac

1/4 teaspoon coriander

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon cumin

zest of one orange (optional)

1 tablespoon bread crumbs

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup olive oil

To make your stuffing:

in a pan or pot saute the onion in olive oil until soft.
Stir in the minced meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, then, as it browns, season with salt and spices.
When the meat has browned all over, and most of its water has been cooked off turn off the heat and allow to cool.

To make the base and top

Soak the bulgur wheat in cold water for an hour (but no longer)
Drain the water off and place the bulgur into a sieve and leave it to drain for 15 minutes
Using a meat grinder to grind the bulgur wheat three times until it is almost a dough.Do the same with the meat and onion.
If you don’t have a meat grinder then pulse the meat, onion, egg, bread crumbs and seasoning in the food processor until it is smooth then add the bulgur gradually to the food processor and pulse until you incorporate the whole amount of the bulgur. (This will take time and you’ll have to scrape down the edges repeatedly)
Knead the meat and bulgur mixture until it is smooth and homogenous

To make your kibbeh:

Grease your baking dish
Get a bowl of water and wet your hands.
Take half of the meat and bulgur mix and spread it in the base of the baking dish.
Spread the stuffing over the base leaving 1 cm (0.5 inch) margin
Spread the other half of the meat and bulgur mix on a piece of parchment paper until it is slightly larger that your pan
Use the parchment to transfer the top onto the baking dish
cut the excess
With your wet hands smooth the top and press from the center to the edges to expel any air trapped between the layers.

Cut in the pattern you like into the kibbeh using a wet knife.

Pour the 1/4 cup of olive oil on top of the kibbeh

Bake in a 180 degree oven for an hour or until the edges are golden brown

place under the broiler until the top is golden brown