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overhead image: platter of kibe and dish of yogurt for dipping
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5 from 6 votes

Kibbeh (Beef Croquettes)

Kibbeh is a Lebanese appetizer made with spiced meat that’s formed into croquettes. It’s the perfect addition to a mezze platter!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Servings: 32
Calories: 240kcal
Author: Kevin

Ingredients

Filling

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • cup pine nuts
  • 3 white onions diced (3 cups total)
  • 8 oz ground beef (80/20)
  • ¼ cup mint leaves chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Outer Casing

  • 1 ⅔ cup fine bulgur wheat (See Note 1)
  • 1 white onion quartered (1 cup total)
  • 1 ½ lbs ground beef (80/20)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Frying

  • 2 cups vegetable oil

Serve

Instructions

Filling

  • Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and fry the pine nuts for 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Remove pine nuts from pan, drain and set aside.
  • Add the other tablespoon of oil to the skillet along with the onions. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the ground beef, cinnamon, allspice, pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper. Stir to break up meat and cook until meat is no longer pink. Stir through the pine nuts, mint and parsley, set aside.

Outer Casing

  • Place bulgur in a sieve under cool water, rinsing until water runs clear. Set aside.
  • Place the onion in a food processor and pulse several times until minced. Add the ground beef, salt, cinnamon, allspice and pepper. Process for 15-20 seconds until a paste forms. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add the rinsed bulgur to the meat filling and combine for 3 minutes to mix thoroughly.

Assembly

  • Place some water in a small bowl and set aside. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet (or lined with a silpat). Roll 3 tablespoon sized balls (roughly the size of a ping pong ball, 1 ¼ oz or 35 gm) of the filling. You should have 32. For larger kibbeh, double the size.
  • Wet your hands. Holding the ball in one hand, use the index finger from the other and press down in the center of the ball, being careful not to crack or tear the sides. Do not press through the ball, you are making a package to fill. I use the hand holding the ball and gently press the meat mixture up and around my finger to the second joint (mid-finger) while move the index finger in a slow circular pattern to widen the opening. This takes practice, so be patient! The sides should be about a ⅛" thick.
  • Fill the cavity of the kibbeh with 1 ½ teaspoon of the filling mixture and pinch the opening closed to seal it. Wet your fingers and formand smooth the kibbeh into an oval with a pointed end (football shaped). Place on line baking sheet and repeat with remaining casing and filling.

Fried Kibbeh

  • Heat 2 cups of oil in a large saucepan or deep fryer to 350°F.
    Gently lower 3-4 per batch into the oil and fry 2-3 minutes, gently turning often until crispy and brown.
    Remove the kibeh from the oil and transfer them to a plate lined with paper toweling to drain.
    Repeat with remaining balls.

Baked Kibbeh

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
    Arrange the kibbeh balls in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spray the croquettes with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
    Bake for 30 minutes, or until they are deep golden brown in color. Time can vary depending on the heat of your oven and altitude.

Serving

  • Place on a platter garnished with lemon slices, mint leaves and a dipping bowl filled with Tahini Yogurt Sauce.

Video

Notes

  1. Most stores I've found just have the whole, not the fine variety. I like to use the brand Sadaf Bulghur #1 Fine 20 oz. If using whole bulgur, pulse in food processor until coarse like cornmeal or in a Vitamix (as shone in photo).

Nutrition

Sodium: 312mg | Calcium: 17mg | Vitamin C: 4mg | Vitamin A: 58IU | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 2g | Potassium: 148mg | Cholesterol: 20mg | Calories: 240kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Fat: 21g | Protein: 6g | Carbohydrates: 8g | Iron: 1mg