Thursday, November 09, 2023

Kibe de Forno - Oven Kibbeh

Have you ever had Kibbeh?  

Do you know what Kibbeh even is?  I didn't for a long time, but a couple months ago, I started looking more into Mediterranean cooking, and found a whole new world of delicious recipes.  Kibbeh is one of them, and funny enough, it is quite popular in Brazil too.

The traditional Kibbeh is usually made into balls and fried.  I am all about the traditional most common way, but I also love trying the variations to the more popular recipes, from each country.

Ok so, first of all Kibbeh is considered to be a national dish from Lebanon.  It's basically a combination of ground meat, bulgur wheat and spices, and it is absolutely delicious and quite easy to make.  
One thing to keep in mind, there are different types of Bulgur Wheat, you want to use the fine, although I could only get some medium coarse which works well too, it just takes a bit longer to soak.

Let me show you....


Oven Kibbeh

2 cups of bulgur cracked wheat 
2 cups of hot water
2 pounds ground beef
1 onion, finely diced
Parsley and Cilantro
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic to taste
Juice from 1 lemon
Sumac, to taste (Sumac has become one of my favorite spices)
Aleppo pepper, to taste (another new favorite)
Shredded Mozzarella cheese
Cream cheese
Olive oil

In a big bowl add the bulgur wheat, pour over the hot water.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it soak for about an hour.  Should be long enough to hydrate the wheat. 

After the hour has passed, give the wheat a good stir to loosen it.  To the same bowl, add the meat, onion, parsley and cilantro to taste, butter, salt and pepper, garlic, lemon juice, sumac and aleppo pepper.  Mix well.
Drizzle a little olive oil in a baking dish, I used a 13x9 inch.  Take half of the kibbeh meat mixture and pat down into the dish.  Next, cover the mixture with some cream cheese, and then shredded mozzarella.  Take the remaining kibbeh and pat down on top of the cheese.   (I find it easier to grab handfuls of the meat mixture, at a time, and then pat it down on the palm of my hand, then place it on top of the cheese, that way it's not pulling off the cheese.)

Take a knife or dough scraper, and make a diamond pattern on top.  I just make diagonal lines one way, then come back the other way.  You don't have to go all the way down to the bottom of the dish, you basically just want a small dent to drizzle on more olive oil.

Once done, drizzle some olive oil across every line, then bake in a 375 F, for about 35 minutes.  Keep an eye on it, if you overcook it, the kibbeh will dry out.  I just check after 25 minutes, and if there's a lot of liquid in the pan, I pour it out and then pop it back in the oven for the last 5 minutes.  

Serve warm!


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