Stuffed Kibbeh (Kibbeh Mahshi)
From Mezze: Delicious Middle Eastern, Turkish and Greek Recipes (Canada, UK), by Rosamond Man.
These are the ultimate in kibbeh long, thin, crisp shells filled with sweet, sweet pine nuts. Wet your hands thoroughly both to make the shells and to stuff them, patching up any cracks with your thumb again constantly dipped in cold water. At pottery classes years later, I was always reminded of kibbeh. Suffice to say my kibbeh shells are more elegant than my vases. However, if you are a good potter, you will probably be a superb kibbeh maker. The movements are not dissimilar.
225 g (8 oz) burghul (cracked wheat)
450 g (1 lb) lamb, minced and well pounded
1 large onion, skinned and grated
Maldon or sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
about 5 ml (I tsp) ground cinnamon
50 to 75 g (2 to 3 oz) pine nuts
olive oil, for frying
Soak the burghul in cold water for 10 minutes, then squeeze out, and mix with the meat, onion and seasonings. Pound until thoroughly pasty, then with both hands wet take a small lump of meat, a little less than a medium-sized egg, and shape it around your middle or forefinger to an even thickness all over, wetting the shell if necessary to close up any cracks. Drop about 5 ml
(1 tsp) of pine nuts into each shell, closing up the ends in a smooth oval shape.
Heat a good 5 cm (2 inches) oil in a deep pan until nearly smoking, then carefully roll in two or three shells and fry for about 5 minutes, until browned and crisp all over. Do the cooking in small batches, until you get deft at it if there are too many in the pan, they can stick together and then crack. Drain thoroughly and serve hot or cold with yogurt, tahina salad, and vegetable salads.
Yield: Serves 5 to 6
Related Article: Sorting Out the Many
Varieties of Kibbeh
Related Recipe: Baby-Sized Kibbehs Stuffed with Braised Lamb Shank, Tomatoes & Onions