Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kibbeh - Lebanese classic in an Argentine Kitchen

I have just returned from a wonderful trip to visit the family in Argentina! Although everyone complains about the current President, she seems to have made some improvements ... although still some ways to go... most importantly  the country can now claim that they held the biggest BBQ in the world having cooked up 13720kg (!!) of meat in one afternoon ... that was some BBQ...!

I was lucky enough to visit aunty Lidia and learn the secrets of fresh pasta making... and all her cake recipes. Spent lots of time with  my mums aunt Lemy who turned 80 ... and she pulled out a wonderful hidden box of old family recipes - a treasure trove!  Ate BBQs with meat fresh from my uncles many more delightful culinary moments! I look forward to posting lots of the amazing recipes! It was all family, food, politics, (usual heartbreaking)  memories of my mum and (usual heartwarming) belly laughs with family and always the soul was recharged in an unimaginable way...

My aunty Lemy comes from a Lebanese heritage and so I am very lucky to have access to all her amazing recipes! Her children are all amazing cooks as well and have learnt some wonderful recipes - it's wonderful seeing the culinary genes activated!

Her daughter Sylvana made a wonderfully delicious Kibbeh dish which was accompanied by a simple salad.  It was one of the tastiest meals I had - and so easy to make...

Remember if you have a recipe you would like to share - write to - all recipes are welcome!



  • 1kg of red meat
  • 300grams of bourghol wheat (soak in water 24 hours before use)
  • 1kg of onion (chop half fine and the other half julienne style)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • finely chopped mint (table spoon)

Take the julienne chopped onions and lightly cook in a pan with some oil and a pinch of salt until translucent.  Once cooked leave to cool.

In a pan mix all the ingredients until thoroughly mixed through (leave out the cooked onion)

Take a pan (any shape you like) and cover the base in oil.  take some of the mix and place in the pan in small bunches.  On top place the cooked onion so it covers the mix.  Put the rest of the mix on top and mark with knife diagonally to make a nice pattern.

Cook in a preheated oven at 180 degreesuntil cooked through.

Eat warm or cold!  Delicious!

Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!


  1. Mmmm, even my now-vegetarian self loves the look of this :)

    My grandma used to make this, and she would laugh to hear you describe it as easy.... In the days before you could buy your own minced meat (and even when Grandma didn't trust shop-bought minced meat - too much fat in it, she'd say), she would spend most of the day delicately cutting fat off lamb, and then running all the lamb through her own mincer for hours. By the mid-afternoon, she would set to make the kibbeh, dipping her hands in a big bowl of water filled with ice while she kneading it, to keep the meat cold.

    She would make her kibbeh with three layers: the bottom and top layer are the same as you describe here (minus the onion), and the middle layer was always my favourite. It's called 'hush-we' which I think translates to 'filling' - it was made from more minced lamb, spices, pine nuts and onion and it was so tasty. If I was lucky, and there was a bit leftover, Grandma would cook up some 'red vegetable' (mashed potato and pumpkin with a tiny bit of salt) and feed it to me with some hot hush-we by itself. I can smell it now...

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Teesh!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful memory - easy indeed!! Your grandma sounds fantastic - I would have loved to have tasted her Kibbeh! The next time I make this I am going to add the extra layer of 'hush-we'...

    Cocinar, comer y ser feliz!

  3. It isn't astounding that the Lebanese are acclaimed for their warm neighborliness. Go to a Lebanese restaurant and you will enjoy the glow and positivity. Lebanese food


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