Baked Kibbeh Simmered in A Multi-Citrus and
Aromatic Sauce of Tahini and Chickpeas:
The Kibbeh Arnabiyeh!
You are heading for an exotic culinary experience! Several zesty ingredients and aromatic spices and herbs mix and harmonize to enhance this nutritious and stomach-warming dish.
Let me go straight to the recipe so you can form a good idea what you are up to here.
The mixture of lean ground beef, cooked onions, and fine wheat that forms the Kibbeh pieces is enhanced with the aromatic spices of Marjoram, Cinnamon, and Pepper, and the dry herbs of Basil and Mint. They are formed in hollowed oval shapes, baked in the oven then dropped in the simmering of the delicious sauce.
Now, the Sauce itself is exceptional.
With the Tahini and Chickpeas as main components, the zesty combination of Lemon Juice, Orange Juice, Pomegranate molasses, and Bousfeir Juice bring this dish to another level. The black pepper and the Pine Kernels are that final touch that makes it even tastier.
The Bousfeir is a local seasonal bitter orange. It is similar to the Seville Orange and is mostly used in our cuisine for jams and certain pastries. You may substitute it with any type of Bitter Orange.
We serve the Kibbeh Arnabiyeh over the Lebanese Vermicelli Rice at consumption time. Same Lebanese eating style like with our other recipes which we cook in yogurt or tomato sauce: Kibbeh Bil Laban, Shish Barak Kafta Dumplings, Loubieh, Stuffed Eggplants Sheikh El-Mehchi, the Lebanese Moussaka, Spinach Stew, etc.
For the Kibbeh Paste
- 200 gr Ground Beef (lean)
- 1 Onion small peeled
- 1 cup Fine Burghul (wheat) soaked in water for 30 minutes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Marjoram
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Dry Basil
- 1/4 tsp Dry Mint
For the Sauce
- 1/2 cup Tahini paste
- 4 tsps Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 Large Onion chopped thinly
- 1 can Chickpeas washed
- 1 cup Fresh Orange Juice
- 1/2 cup Juice of Seville Bitter Orange or similar bitter orange.
- 1 tsp Pomegranate Molasses
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 cup Water
- 2 tbsps Pine Kernels toasted or fried
- Food Processor, preferably suitable for meat
- Non-Stick Baking Pan slightly oiled.
Preparing the Kibbeh
Preheat your oven at 480 F.
In a meat processor, mix the onion and spices, add the meat, and mix well into a smooth texture.
Knead the Burghul (wheat) by hands in the water then grab by handfuls, pressing tightly the water out, and add them to the meat in the food processor.
Keep it mixing very well until you get a homogeneous paste.
Divide the meat paste into equal balls (about 25 pieces).
Dab your fingers in water, hold each ball resting in your palm, and use your other hand to perforate it, turning the ball in your palm as you press the insides until the meat is thinned on all sides. The shape of the ball will be turning oval.
Dab your fingers in water and gently close down the opening.
Place the Kibbeh in the baking pan, and repeat the process for all the balls.
Leave enough space between the kibbeh pieces.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 25 minutes while you prepare the Sauce.
At the 25 minutes, turn the kibbeh pieces upside down and back to the oven for 5 minutes.
Preparing the Sauce
Cook the chopped onions in preheated oil until they wither. Add the chickpeas and mix very well.
In a separate bowl, mix very well the Tahini and all the remaining ingredients and seasonings, pour it all on the chickpeas and stir well.
Bring it to a boil. Simmer (low heat) and stir continuously until the oil of the Tahini shows up at the surface.
Cooking the Kibbeh Arnabiyeh
Now it's the time to add the Kibbeh pieces into the Sauce of Tahini and Chickpeas.
Leave it on simmering for 5 minutes for the sauce to bring in its flavor to the Kibbeh.
You may transfer the culinary preparation into a serving soup plate or divide them by portions.
In any case, sprinkle on the Pine Kernels, and serve at once with Lebanese vermicelli rice.
As with all very-Lebanese eating-style when it comes to this category of saucy dishes, we serve the rice first on the plates then pour the Kibbeh Arnabiyeh on top.
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