In the great restaurants of Amman, like Tannoureen you can hear the pounding of the meat for this dish. Done portion, by portion it comes to the table without a hint of oxidization. Given that this dish comes from a kitchen that was, until recently, without refrigeration it was a dish made when the animal was killed a celebration of well being.

The Middle Eastern Beef Steak Tartar, although Kibbeh is, in itself, a very simple recipe the hard part is buying or making the lamb kibbeh meat. Traditionally it is pounded rather than minced, perfectly pink, without a speck of fat or oxidisation.  It is a lot of work to pound it yourself and we are blessed with a brilliant Halal butcher at The Adelaide Lebanese Bakery where it can be ordered.

As Kibbeh is a favourite summer dish, we make the spice mix in quantity, vac and freeze it.

for the spice mix

This batch of spice mix makes enough for 8kg lamb
20g cardamom
20g cumin seeds
80g sesame seeds
20g whole black pepper
40g cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
Cook the spices over low heat until they start to crackle and colour tip them into a bowl, cool slightly and then power in a spice grinder. Vac and freeze what you are not going to use immediately..

for the kibbeh

125g fine or medium burghul
125g boiling water
1kg lamb kibbeh
1 lemon, finely grated zest
25g strained lemon juice
100g p/w purple onion or shallot, very finely chopped
½ bunch mint, stalked and finely chopped…extra mint and dill for garnish
½ bunch coriander, stalked and finely chopped ½ bunch dill stalked and finely chopped
22g spice mix
10g Maldon sea salt
1-2g fine freshly ground white pepper

Put the burghul into a bowl, add the boiling water, stir over and set to one side to allow it to absorb the water.

When the burghul has absorbed all of the water, add the lemon rind, juice and shallot/purple onion.

to this point can be done in advance.

to serve
Combine all of the ingredients with a generous amount of salt and white pepper. Mix well taste and adjust seasonings. Traditionally the kibbeh is shaped into cones and garnished with mint and dill. It must be served as soon as the meat has been mixed through as it will immediately start to oxidise.

making the
lamb kibbeh

Best not made more than
a few hours before you want to serve!

This is a cheat’s method but unless you have a couple of hours to spare and a humungus mortar and pestle it is a good compromise.

If you decide to make the lamb kibbeh yourself. Purchase 1.25kg lamb leg no bone in the piece and contact cover the meat side to prevent oxidisation until you are ready to process.

Clean all fat and sinew from the meat and cube it. Immediately mince the lamb passing it through the finest mincer blade twice and then further refine it in a food processor or Thermomix.

Immediately…scrape it out and contact cover it and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble and serve the kibbeh.

serve with

Traditionally freshly baked flat bread and a bread made from a dough similar to pide bread but baked flatter without oil and finished on a charcoal grill. You will find both at your Lebanese or Afghan baker….refresh them over charcoal.