Lamb kibbeh stuffed with mozzarella and pine nuts

Lamb kibbeh stuffed with mozzarella and pine nuts

By
From
Moorish
Serves
4
Photographer
Mark Roper

Kibbeh are those little torpedo-shaped meat dumplings that, once upon a time, were the yardstick by which all Middle Eastern cooks were judged. They are a speciality of Syria and Lebanon.

The traditional version consists of a thin crispy shell made out of a paste of burghul wheat and lamb, which is stuffed with a finer mixture of spiced lamb and deep-fried to a golden brown. This version is filled with cheese. They are a little fiddly to make, but worth the patience.

Kibbeh shell

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g fine-grade white burghul
600g lamb, minced twice
1 onion, puréed in a food processor
3/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
salt and pepper

Filling

Quantity Ingredient
150g mozzarella
80g pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
150ml vegetable oil
Toum
or Tahini–yoghurt sauce

Method

  1. To make the shell, begin by soaking the burghul in plenty of cold salted water for about 10 minutes. Using your hands, squeeze out as much water as you can.
  2. Put the lamb into a mixing bowl with the onion, burghul, spices and salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix everything to a soft smooth paste. You may need to add a little cold water to help bind everything together. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, which makes the paste easier to work with.
  3. While the lamb mixture is chilling in the fridge, prepare the filling. First, grate the mozzarella cheese. Fry the pine nuts in the olive oil until they are golden brown, then drain them on kitchen paper. Add the onion to the oil in the frying pan and sauté gently for a few minutes until softened. Tip the onion into a bowl and stir in the cheese, pine nuts, allspice, parsley and salt and pepper.
  4. Take a small lump of the lamb paste into the palm of your left hand and roll it to a smooth ball. Using the forefinger of your right hand (reverse hands if you’re left-handed), make an indentation in the lump and start to shape it into a hollow shell. Try to make it as thin and even as you can. Fill the shell with about a teaspoon of the stuffing, wet the edges of the opening with cold water, and pinch it closed. You are aiming for a small torpedo shaped dumpling, with slightly tapered ends. Leave the stuffed kibbeh on a tray, covered, in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them.
  5. Bake them in a 190°C oven for about 20 minutes (the more virtuous option) or deep or shallow-fry them in medium–hot oil, turning to ensure a deep golden brown colour all over. Drain them on kitchen paper and serve with toum or tahini–yoghurt sauce.
Tags:
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Moorish
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