Kibbeh nayeh is a rustic, authentic Lebanese dish of raw minced lamb, burghul (cracked wheat) and spices. This secret to this much loved Lebanese dish is using only the freshest meat that is finely minced on the day, and it should be eaten the day it is made.
Skill level Easy
1 white onion
2-3 mint sprigs
500 g very fresh minced lamb
135 g (¾ cup) fine burghul, washed, drained
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp allspice
mint leaves, chopped, to garnish
extra virgin olive oil, to garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chop half of the onion and place in a food processor with the mint sprigs and pulse a few times. Add 125 g of the minced lamb to onion mixture and process to a paste.
Place the lamb paste, remaining minced lamb, burghul, salt, ground black pepper and allspice in a large bowl and knead the mixture with your fingers. (Keep a bowl of iced water nearby to dip your hands in while kneading to prevent the mixture sticking to them.)
Turn out kibbeh onto a large plate and flatten to about 2 cm thick.
Scatter over the mint leaves, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately with remaining white onion sliced, tabouleh, hummus and labneh. You can eat all these elements together with Lebanese bread.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 5, pg162.
Photography by Peter Georgakopoulos.