Kibbeh (pronounced kee-bee and also spelled quibe, kibe, kibbe, kebbah, kubbeh, kubbah kubbi or kobeiba depending on region) is a dish made of Bulgur (cracked wheat), minced onions, and finely ground lean beef with mint, basil, cinnamon and optional spices. It can be optionally stuffed with mozzarella, provolone or cream cheese (Catupiry in Brazil).
This recipe has been adapted from the one my Godmother Regina Alfradique has sent to me and there are several ways to eat. The football-shaped deep-fried (or also shaped into balls or patties), baked in a casserole dish (my favourite way), cooked in broth, or just served raw with olive oil.
Kibbeh is a popular dish in Brazil and Middle Eastern cuisine. Most Brazilian kibbeh uses only ground beef and not other types of meat but in Middle Eastern, they also use lamb, goat, or camel meat.
Serve warm, accompanied by a fresh salad and/or with this delicious Tabule.
- 500 g Ground beef
- 250 g Bulgur wheat - fine ground (not coarse)
- 125 g Onion - Grated
- Mint - (a hand full)
- 6 leaves Basil
- Salt - to taste
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon - Ground
- Nutmeg - (Optional) Ground
- Black pepper - (Optional) Ground
- Allspice - (Optional) Ground
- In a Bowl soak the bulgur wheat in water, cover and let stand for at least 2 hours (or overnight).
- Add the onion, mint and basil to a Food Processor and pulse until grated. Then add ground beef.
- Drain the Bulgur pressing well to eliminate any excess water and add to the food processor. Add salt, Grounded cinnamon and optional spices, such as Grounded Nutmeg, grounded black pepper and/or Grounded Allspice.
- Process all together to mix well. It forms like a ball. Sometimes you need to stop, mix a little bit using a Silicone Spatula and process again.
- To form the baked kibbeh, spread the meat mixture out on the bottom of the Casserole Baking Dish, pressing down a bit with a spoon or wet hands to smooth the top.
- If using optional filling: To form the baked kibbeh, spread half of the base meat mixture out on the bottom of the baking dish. Next, spread the filling (with mozzarella, provolone or cream cheese (Catupiry in Brazil) or any other cheese) on top of the base layer. Finally, spread the remaining base meat mixture on top, pressing down a bit with a spoon or wet hands to smooth the top.
- Slice kibbeh diagonally to form small diamonds, cutting through to the center layer but not all the way to the bottom of the dish.
- Optional: you can drizzle on olive oil over the top at this point.
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C). When making small quantities I prefer to use the Countertop Oven than the big stove one. It’s time and energy saver.
- Bake until meat is fully cooked, about 20-40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Garnish with mints leaves. Serve warm, accompanied by a fresh salad and/or with this delicious Tabule.
The ratio is 1 of meat to ½ of Bulgur (cracked wheat) to ¼ of onion, so you can adjust quantities easily.
Brazilians sometimes add shoyu (Japanese fermented soy sauce), in addition to raw garlic, or Worcestershire or red chili pepper sauce, directly from the bottle.
The football-shaped deep-fried ones are very common in Brazilian birthday’s parties and eaten as a snack. They are also served with lime wedges, hummus for dipping, and traditionally, cold beer.
But I prefer it baked in a casserole dish, the easiest way, which can be also eaten as lunch or dinner dish accompanied by a fresh salad and/or with Tabule.
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