Sunday, January 8, 2017

Baked Kibbeh with Yogurt Sauce

Lean beef seasoned with mint, onion, cumin and allspice is mixed with bulgur wheat then baked in small balls till golden. Perfect for dipping in garlicky yogurt sauce. 

Searching for kibbeh recipes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the many varieties and options. Lamb is typical, but beef is a close second. Sometimes the bulgur wheat is mixed throughout the meat, as in my recipe below, and sometimes it’s mixed just with part of the meat. In that case, the bulgur mixture is used as a filling with seasoned meat on the outside of the kibbeh. Most are deep-fried. The baked kibbeh is often made in one big piece, then cut apart into slices like pie. The deep-fried ones are made into elongated balls (like mine) or into patties.

As with many recipes that are claimed by various cultures and countries, everyone thinks theirs is the most authentic, the most traditional, the most like mom used to make, in a word, the best. Since I come from none of those cultures or countries, I can do what I want without fear of elderly relatives scolding me. So I make individual kibbeh and bake them.

The soaked bulgur wheat adds moisture to the kibbeh so you can use lean ground beef, making them an even healthier option.

Baked Kibbeh with Yogurt Sauce

If you have a large iron skillet or another heavy baking pan, baked kibbeh gives you all the flavor and crunch of traditional kibbeh, without the oiliness of deep-frying. These can be served with sandwich fixings or simply with the yogurt sauce for dipping.

For the kibbeh:
1/2 cup or 105g medium coarse bulgur
Leaves from a small bunch fresh mint, picked off and washed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/4 lbs or 575g lean ground beef
3 tablespoons olive oil

For the yogurt sauce:
1 cup or 245g Greek plain yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional to serve:
Yogurt sauce
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced cucumbers
Flat bread

Pour the bulgur wheat in a big coffee mug. Pour enough boiling water to cover the bulgur by about one inch or 2cm. Cover the mug with a saucer and set aside until the water is absorbed. Fluff it with a fork into a large mixing bowl.

To make the yogurt sauce, add the lemon juice, garlic, mint and salt to the yogurt. Mix well and refrigerate. This is best done early in the process to allow time for the flavors to meld and develop.

Use a food processor to mince the mint leaves with the chopped onion.

Preheat your oven to 410°F or 210°C with a large iron skillet or heavy baking pan inside.

Add the mint and onion to the bulgur, along with the cumin, allspice, salt and black pepper. Mix well.

Tip in the lean ground beef. Use your clean hands to mix and knead the seasoned bulgur into the beef.

Wet your hands and form the mixture into 20 balls, slightly fatter in the center and kind of pointy on the ends, like an American football. Keep wetting your hands to keep the meat from sticking to them.

Once the oven is preheated, remove the iron skillet and pour in half of the olive oil. Put the kibbeh in the skillet and put it back in the oven.

Set your timer for 18 minutes. When it rings, take the skillet out and drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the kibbeh. Put it back in the oven and turn the dial from bake to broil (or grill, for my British readers). To clarify, turn your oven's upper element on so the top of the kibbeh will brown.

Keep an eye on it and remove the kibbeh from the oven when it’s golden, about 5-7 minutes.

Serve with the yogurt sauce to dip. You can also set out flatbread, sliced tomatoes and sliced cucumber for those who would like to build a small sandwich. This makes a great appetizer or starter at a cocktail party.


Today is National Sunday Supper Day – the second Sunday of January! We should be eating cake to celebrate but since we love you all so much, we decided that we wouldn’t sabotage your (and our own!) efforts to eat more nutritious meals in the New Year. Instead, we are bringing you lots of lean beef recipes! Many thanks to our host today, Sarah of The Chef Next Door and our event manager Cricket of Cricket’s Confections for their behind the scenes work.

Check out all the lovely lean beef recipes we are sharing!

Appetizers, Soups, and Salads

Ground Beef Recipes


Sandwiches and Wraps


Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday!
We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include

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Baked Kibbeh: Lean beef seasoned with mint, onion, cumin and allspice is mixed with bulgur wheat then baked in small balls till golden. Perfect for dipping in garlicky yogurt sauce. #SundaySupper

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