It freezes wonderfully so make a big batch and freeze extras for another night. When making it ahead you can freeze the casserole raw, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake. Or bake it ahead, refrigerate for up to two days or freeze, then reheat in the oven, thawed.
Course: Appetizers & Starters, Breakfast & Brunch, Main Dish, Side Dish
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.