The Lebanese Stuffed Kibbeh Meat Balls
A Healthier low-fat, zero cholesterol Recipe
These Kibbeh Balls are one of our cuisine’s prides. They are always part of our Mezza menus, and also regular at our tables, enjoyed with Tabbouleh or Fattoush Salad and Hummus, or with our Cold Yogurt with Cucumber: Laban Bi-Kheyar.
If you haven’t tried them yet, it’s time to do so. These are a not-to-miss at all accounts. They are rich in texture, delicious in blended aromas, and very nutritious.
There is also another way to consume these delicious Kibbeh balls that is more fulfilling: Cooked in Yogurt Sauce like various of our dishes. It is our famous Kibbeh Labnieh, or Kibbeh Bil-Laban, which is a regular of our family meals, specially in winter for its soothing and warming effect. It is also a must-try.
The Kibbeh Balls are made from extra-lean ground beef, fine Burghul wheat, and onions; all blend into a meat dough that is deliciously seasoned with the aromas of Ground Cumin, Ground Cinnamon, Dry Basil, Dry Mint, Marjoram, and Ground Pepper.
The recipe is an easy one, and yields 20 baked Kibbehs. No frying with this one. We are going for a healthy recipe. 🙂
The work is in forming the dough into hollowed oval-balls of thin walls. It is easier than it looks. It is important though that the balls are the thinnest possible.
That is done by holding a ball in our palm, pressing the index of our other hand to cave while rolling the ball in our palm. The more the rolling, the thinner the Kibbeh ball. If this is your first time making these Kibbehs, don’t worry. You’ll soon get a hold on the technique past the first two balls.
There are many reasons why I often recommend doubling the quantities of this recipe:
They are super delicious,
The serving plate empties too quickly 🙂
They freeze well for up to 3 months. Divided by bulks in freezable zip-lock bags, one could grab a couple every time we wish for them, bake them in 20 minutes, and enjoy them as appetizers, or as a side-dish when unexpected guests show up at lunch or dinner time.
We Lebanese tend to do that in our kitchen: Always having in our fridge these time-saving, dinner-saving freezable foods: These Stuffed Kibbeh Balls, the Fattayer, the Lahem Aajeen, are just some of them. It is part of our culture to have always guests over for meals, and have them unexpectedly as well. We take honor in that.
CAUTION: Just make sure you are not using defrosted meat. Once defrosted, the meat, as any food, must be completely cooked before storing in the freezer.
ENJOY THESE KIBBEH IQRAS WITH OUR YOGURT WITH CUCUMBER, GARLIC, AND MINT
TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH, CHEERS!
The Lebanese Stuffed Kibbeh Meat Balls ~ Healthier Recipe
For the Kibbeh Dough (Group 1)
- 200 gr Ground Beef (extra lean) pounded
- 1 cup Fine Burghul soaked for 30 min, and sieved
- 1 Onion (small) peeled
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Dry Mint
- 1/4 tsp Dry Basil
- 1/4 tsp Marjoram
For the Stuffing (Group 2)
- 150 gr Ground Beef (lean)
- 1 Onion (small) chopped thinly
- 1 dash Salt
- 1 dash Ground Cinnamon
- 1 dash Ground Pepper
- 2 tbsps Vegetable Oil
- 1 tbsp Pine Kernels raw
- Food Processor
- Non-Stick Baking Tray lightly oiled
PREPARING THE STUFFING (Group 2)
In a preheated pan, over medium heat, cook the ground beef with 1 dash of salt and 1 dash of cinnamon. Keep mixing until the meet darkens. Set aside.
In a larger frying pan, warm the 2 tablespoons of oil, add the chopped onions and cook over medium heat, mixing regularly until translucent.
Stir in the cooked ground beef, and the pine kernels, and cook for 8 minutes. Set aside.
MAKING THE KIBBEH DOUGH (Group 1)
In the food processor, chop the onion very well, add the Beef Meat, and run until you get a smooth dough.
Press the Burghul wheat into your palms to remove any excess of water, and add gradually into the running food processor. Allow a good mixing into a homogeneous dough. You may add water if and when needed.
Remove the dough from the food processor, and divide them into 20 equal balls.
NOTE: You may make them smaller for up to 25 balls if you wish. The smaller size is what we do to cook them in yogurt sauce.
MAKING THE STUFFED KIBBEH
Preheat your oven at 250 Celsius or 485 F.
Place at your working counter a bowl of cold water, the stuffing mixture, and the oiled baking tray.
We are going to hollow the balls as follows:
With a ball in your palm, dip the index finger of your other hand in cold water, and press it deep into the center of the ball. As you press, start rolling the ball in your palm as your finger flattens the meat from inside on all sides. The aim is to get a very thin meat "walls" and a ball that is oval (ref to photos).
Now that you have a hollowed oval ball, use a small spoon to fill the inside with the meat stuffing of Group 1.
Dampened your fingers and close the opening, pressing and pinching gently but surely.
Set it on the baking tray, and repeat the process for the remaining 24 balls.
Bake the Kibbeh balls for 20 minutes then carefully flip them over. Allow them to bake for 5-10 more minutes or until they turn golden.
Remove and transfer them into a serving plate, and enjoy them hot or at room temperature.
These Kibbeh balls can last uncooked in the freezer for up to 3 months. Divide them by bulks in freezable zip-lock bags. You may cook as many as you need in due time.
Cooked, they can be stored covered in the fridge for 2-3 days, if any remains, and warmed in the microwave.