Learnt from his ‘nana’ this is one of Samir’s favourite childhood dishes.
3 medium onions, peeled and sliced
500 grams lean lamb leg, diced
500 grams fatty lamb shoulder, diced
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mild chilli flakes
salt to taste
1 large onion, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
250 grams lamb mince
½ cup pomegranate molasses
salt to taste
500 grams fine burghul, washed, drained
Brush a high-sided 30cm x 20cm baking tray with olive oil.
Kibbeh: Sauté the onions in a little olive oil until lightly brown and soft. Leave to cool then place in the fridge until cold.
In a large bowl mix the lean and fatty lamb, cooled onion, spices, chilli and salt and mix thoroughly. Run this mixture through a mincer twice until you have a fine mince and everything is well combined. Place in the fridge.
Stuffing: Heat a frypan on medium to high heat. Add the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until softened but not coloured. Add the lamb. Using a wooden spoon, break up the mince as fine as possible. Fry until well-coloured and it becomes dark golden-brown and crispy. Add the molasses and salt and cook out for a few minutes. Leave to cool, then place in the fridge until completely cold.
To assemble: Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Add the burghul to the kibbeh mixture and mix with your hands to thoroughly combine. It should feel almost like dough.
Place half the mixture in the tray and spread it out to a smooth, thin layer. Evenly spread the cold stuffing mix over the kibbeh mixture.
With the remaining kibbeh mixture, make thin patties in your hands. Lay the patties over the stuffing, then smooth out the meat mixture to completely cover the stuffing.
Using a knife, cut a diamond pattern into the kibbeh, brush with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden on the top. Enjoy hot or cold with yoghurt and fattoush salad.
Read the interview with Samir Allen here.