Taking a break from bomb making this week (last posts here in case you missed them: JOAN’S TACO BOMBS, and BREAKFAST BOMBS ), I dove right into this delicious looking recipe for kibbe sent in by one of my Galley Peeps. A type of meatloaf with Middle Eastern flavours. Wonderfully seasoned, oh so good and relatively simple to throw together. I considered using other ground meat like chicken or turkey, beef or pork, which I’m sure would have been good but chose ground lamb for a more authentic result.
The ‘stuffing’…for lack of a better description…a wonderfully aromatic mix of caramelized onions, some of the lamb mixture and pine nuts made it extra special. Half of the onion mixture is sandwiched between two layers of perfectly spiced minced lamb then baked, with the rest served along side. Pure yum!
I made a slight modification to the seasoning by adding my own Middle Eastern spice blend. Salt and pepper of course, cumin, and cayenne from the original but to this I added a touch of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and a pinch of sumac (more mainstream now found at most well stocked grocery stores)
One more modification I made was to swap the bulgur groats ( a wheat derivative ) with buckwheat (unlike the name, not actually a wheat)…not because we have any issues with wheat products but I had buckwheat in my pantry and was too lazy to go to the store to find bulgur. It’s what I used for my MELANIE’S MEATLESS ‘MEATLOAF’ because it worked so well as a gluten-free binder.
Half of the wonderfully seasoned lamb was first pressed into the bottom of the baking pan…
…then topped with half of the onion mixture. The rest of the lamb topped the ‘stuffing’.
I wasn’t sure about the purpose of scoring the meat before baking…maybe for more even cooking?…maybe for defining serving-sized portions? If anyone knows why this is important (or not really), please let me know. At any rate, I drizzled a couple of spoons full of clarified butter over the top before cooking. I’m sure olive oil would be a great substitute but I read several articles about ‘authentic’ baked kibbe and it seemed clarified butter was the way to go.
Interested in an easy way to make clarified butter also known as ghee? I have a method using a slow cooker….one with a sauté option. It’s a whole lot less expensive than the commercial brands too. Simply place 2 lbs of butter (salted or unsalted is a personal choice), set the lid to ‘vent’ if your cooker is also a pressure cooker or an instant pot and cook undisturbed for 1 1/2 hours. Then remove the lid and using the sauté mode, cook the butter for another 20 minutes stirring frequently. Toward the end you will see some of the separated milk solids begin to brown, being careful not to let it burn…thus the frequent stirring. This gives the butter a wonderful nutty flavour. Turn the cooker off and when the butter has cooled, strain it through a few layers of cheese cloth into glass jars.
The beauty of ghee is that is can be kept on the counter for about three months which is why it is my butter of choice when on the boat. Cooler space is at such a premium. Refrigerated it can be kept up to a year. Another advantage is all the milk solids are strained out making it a great choice for those with dairy issues. And without the milk solids the smoke point is much higher than butter (about 485 ° F compared to 350 ° F). Convinced? Try it!
Tonight, I made a simple sauce of plain Greek yogurt, my own version of tzatziki, with one smashed garlic clove, some chopped cucumber, a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice, dried mint, salt and pepper to serve with the kibbe and a crisp green salad (or if you would like more specific directions for the tsatziki you can find my recipe here HOMEMADE TZATZIKI). So very yummy!…and true confession time…I kept breaking off pieces and dipping in the yogurt while I was tossing the salad. Oink!…pure oink!
Lynn, thanks so much for sending me this recipe. The perfect dish for the stove top Omnia oven and so so SO very tasty! It made enough for the two of us with some to stash away in the freezer for a future meal. On our regular meal rotation for sure.
And by the way Lynn, your little side comment about ‘cassoulet’ being a ‘must try’…you are SO right! My version will be posted very soon…once I wade through a couple more ‘bomb’ posts that is. Blowing up my galley and your tastebuds one recipe at a time.
Lynn’s Baked Lebanese Kibbe
- Omnia stove top oven (for the ovenless)
- 9”x12” (approximately) baking pan (for you conventional oven folks)
- 2 mixing bowls
- Saute pan
- 1 Cup Buckwheat groats
- 1 Pound Ground lamb
- 1/4 Cup Grated onion
- 1/2 Tsp Cumin
- 1 Pinch Cayenne
- 1 Pinch Cinnamon
- 1 Pinch Nutmeg
- 1 Pinch Allspice
- 1/2 Tsp Sumac
- Salt and pepper
- 3 Tbsp Olive oil
- 2 Cups Sliced onions 1/4” thick
- 1/2 Cup Pine nuts Lightly toasted
- 2 Tbsp Clarified butter Or olive oil
- Plain Greek yogurt for serving
- Place buckwheat in a small bowl, cover with hot water and set aside for 30 minutes to soften.
- In a large mixing bowl combine lamb, grated onion and spices together.
- Drain buckwheat and add to lamb mixture.
- Add 1/2 cup of ice water and beat all until well combined to make a very smooth soft mixture. You can use a food processor for this but it’s not entirely necessary.
- Heat a fry pan and add pine nuts to dry roast, shaking and stirring until very lightly toasted and browned. Remove from heat and set aside in a small bowl.
- To the same fry pan add olive oil and on medium high heat, saute onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper
- Add 1/4 cup of the lamb mixture and continue to saute until the lamb is cooked through, browned and a little crispy and onions are nicely caramelized. Stir in reserved toasted pine nuts and remove from heat.
- Press half of remaining lamb mixture into prepared baking dish.
- Spread half of the onion mixture evenly over lamb then top with remaining lamb smoothing evenly.
- Score top to about 2” depth but not all the way through and drizzle with 2 tbsp clarified butter or olive oil
For Omnia stove top oven users
- Place lid on the baking pan, set on pre-heated base plate and cook on high for five minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking for about 35 minutes or until lamb is cooked through and lightly browned.
For conventional oven users
- Bake uncovered in pre-heated 350 °F oven (177 ° C) for 35-40 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let rest for about 5 minutes to let the meat reabsorb its juices.
- Plate portions of kibee and top with reserved onion-pine nut mixture.
- Serve with plain Greek yogurt or tzatzki and a crisp green salad