This is a recipe that runs from one generation to another. It really is one that is rich with complex flavors that seems to be enjoyed by the elder rather than the young, or at least that was the case for me. I started liking only as I grew older and appreciated such flavors. Nonetheless, it truly is a royal meal to be served in gatherings and celebrations. It does take time and effort to be done, but it surely is worth it.
Meat balls (kibbeh)
- 200g Veal meat, finely ground
- 200g Bulgur wheat
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- a bit of ice-cold water
- 100 gram animal fat (dehne)
- 100 gram walnut
- 50 gram pine seeds
- 1 small onion
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 kg yogurt
- 500 ml water
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- salt to taste
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup short grain (Egyptian) rice, boiled
- 4 stems of fresh tarragon
Pine seeds for garnish
- Prepare the kibbe balls. Take the ground meat, onion, spices and bulgur and place into a food processor or meat grinder. Mix for a few minutes until the mixture is uniform. You may use a bit of cold water. Keep in fridge.
- Prepare the stuffing. Grind all ingredients, except pine seeds, in the meat grinder. Remove from grinder. Add pine seeds and mix well.
- Prepare a small bowl of ice-cold water to which you will add a tablespoon of cornstarch. Mix well.
- Making the kibbeh balls: Measure balls no more than a tbs. Then form the ball into a sausage shape. With the index finger, dig a deep hole in it. If the kibbe is too sticky, dip your finger in the bowl of starchy water. Now start turning the hand that is holding the kibbe balls while applying some pressure with your index finger until the walls of the kibbe ball become as thin as possible. Stuff the kibbeh, then pinch the opened end of the ball to close it well. Using a toothpick, make two tiny holes in each ball.
- Preparing the Laban (yogurt). Whisk the egg, yogurt, cornstarch and salt until well combined. Place in a sauce pan on medium heat until warm. Add the ware and rice. When it starts to simmer, add the kibbeh. Once it starts to boil, bring down the heat. Let the kibble cook for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Add tarragon.
- Pour the kibbe in large or individual serving bowls. Garnish with pine seeds.
- Serve the kibbe labnyeh hot or cold. Enjoy!