Baked Lamb and Bulgur/ Kibbeh

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Baked Lamb and Bulgur/ Kibbeh
Kibbeh is an almost required dish on meze tables in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan,Armenia, and beyond. Regional cooks have dozens of variations on the basic recipe that follows.

Ingredients

        1 c. bulgur; 3 c. cold water
        ½ lb. lean ground lamb or beef; 1 small onion, finely chopped
        ½ tsp. cayenne pepper; ½ tsp. salt
        ¼ tsp. black pepper; ¼ tsp. cinnamon
        1/8 tsp. allspice; 1/8 tsp. ground ginger
        ¼ tsp. ground coriander; ¼ tsp. ground cumin
        Ice water; ¼ c. pine nuts or walnut halves

        2 tbsp. olive oil.

Instructions

1. Place bulgur and water in a large bowl and set aside for at least 30 minutes.


2. Transfer bulgur to a colander and rinse under cold running water. Squeeze well to remove excess water and set aside.

3. In large mixing bowl, combine lamb, onions, and spices. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth paste.

4. Put a few ice cubes in a small glass of water. Knead bulgur into meat, adding small amounts of ice water when needed to keep mixture smooth.

5. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

6. Preheat oven to 400°F and thoroughly grease a 9 x 13-in. baking pan.

7. Stir pine nuts into chilled lamb mixture, reserving a few nuts for garnish. Spread mixture evenly in baking pan.

8. Use a sharp knife to make four lengthwise cuts, evenly spaced, without cutting all the way through meat. Next make diagonal cuts the same width to make diamond-shaped portions. (Again, do not cut all the way through the meat.)

9. Sprinkle remaining pine nuts over kibbeh and lightly drizzle olive oil over all.

10. Bake kibbeh on the oven’s bottom rack for 30 minutes. Then move pan to top rack and bake another 10 minutes. Serve hot or cold with a green salad.

Food: Baked Lamb and Bulgur/ Kibbeh

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