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Lamb kibbeh stuffed with mozzarella and pine nuts


Makes: 24
Serves: 8
timePrep time: 1 hr 30 mins
timeTotal time:
Lamb kibbeh stuffed with mozzarella and pine nuts
Recipe by Greg and Lucy Malouf / Recipe photograph by Martin Poole

Lamb kibbeh stuffed with mozzarella and pine nuts


Makes: 24
Serves: 8
timePrep time: 1 hr 30 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
193Kcal
Fat
14gr
Saturates
3gr
Carbs
8gr
Sugars
1gr
Fibre
1gr
Protein
8gr
Salt
0gr

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Our team of trained chefs and skilled food writers love cooking up everything from innovative seasonal recipes or clever shortcuts, to step-by-step guides and classic recipes for friends and readers alike.

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Ingredients

For the kibbeh shell
  • 200g bulgur wheat
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 500g lamb mince (20% fat)
  • ¾ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
For the filling
  • 75g pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 210g mozzarella, drained and coarsely grated
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 150ml vegetable oil, for frying (optional)
For the tahini-yogurt sauce
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 175ml natural yogurt
  • 4 tbsp tahini paste
  • juice of 1 lemon, to taste

Step by step

Get ahead
Make the tahini-yogurt sauce 2-3 days ahead; chill. Prepare the kibbeh to the end of step 5 the day before. The uncooked kibbeh can also be frozen; defrost before cooking.
  1. To make the shell, soak the bulgur wheat in plenty of cold salted water for about 20 minutes. Using your hands, squeeze out as much water as you can. Put in a food processor with the onion and whiz until very finely chopped, then tip into a bowl.
  2. Whiz the lamb mince in bursts in the food processor to make it more finely chopped (or chop with a large knife), then add to the bulgur mixture and combine with the spices; season. Mix everything with your hands to a soft smooth paste. If necessary, add a little cold water to bind it. Chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Prepare the filling. Fry the pine nuts in the olive oil in a small frying pan until golden brown; drain on kitchen paper. Add the onion to the pan and sauté gently for a few minutes to soften. Tip into a bowl, cool slightly, then stir in the pine nuts, mozzarella, allspice, parsley and seasoning.
  4. To make the sauce, crush the garlic to a paste with ½ teaspoon salt. Combine with the yogurt, tahini and lemon juice to taste. Thin with a little water if necessary – it should be the consistency of thin honey. Taste and season; chill until ready to serve.
  5. To shape the kibbeh, take a lump of the lamb paste (about the size of a ping-pong ball) in your left hand and roll it to a smooth ball. Using the forefinger of your right hand (reverse if you're left-handed), make an indentation in the lump and start to shape it into a hollow shell. Try to make it as thin and even as you can. Fill with about 1 teaspoon of the stuffing, wet the edges of the opening with cold water, and pinch it closed. Aim for a small torpedo shape. Leave them on a tray, covered, in the fridge until ready to cook.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5, then bake the kibbeh on a lightly oiled tray for 25-30 minutes, turning a few times, or shallow-fry them in batches in medium–hot oil, turning to ensure a deep golden brown colour all over. Each batch will take about 10 minutes to fry. Drain them on kitchen paper and serve with the tahini-yogurt sauce.
Chef quote
Kibbeh are a speciality of Syria and Lebanon. The traditional version is a crispy shell of bulgur wheat and lamb, stuffed with a finer mixture of spiced lamb and deep-fried to a golden brown. This version is filled with cheese. They are a little fiddly, but worth it.

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