Aleppo Kibbeh Roll

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Aleppo Kibbeh Roll

Appetizer from Aleppo of pounded meat mixed with dried mint, fried in the form of patties, then covered with garlicky lemon sauce.

Ingredients:  8 to 10 servings

For kibbeh dough

500 g pounded lamb or beef (should be very cold)

2 cups fine dark bourghol, washed and squeezed dry

1 onion, cut to 4

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons salt

For filling

400 g lamb or beef finely ground

1 big onion (125 g) finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup pine nuts

½ teaspoon ground sweet pepper

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1½ cups pistachios

2 teaspoons sumac

1 to 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

2 teaspoons salt

To prepare kibbeh dough: 

1. Process the onion with the spices and salt in food processor till fine.

2.  Add meat with about 3 tablespoons or more of ice water and pulse to mix-knead kibbeh dough by hand adding more ice water if needed to make a moist paste.

To prepare filling: 

1. Fry onion in olive oil and butter in a pan over medium to low heat till tender and starting to color.  Raise heat and fry the ground meat till colored, add pine nuts, all the spices, salt, and fry a minute more while stirring, remove from heat.

2. Place pistachios in very hot water few minutes, drain, peel, and mix well with the prepared filling, add sumac, and pomegranate molasses.  Set aside to cool.

To prepare kibbeh: 

1.  See Kibbeh in a Pan page 213 in my book “Ma’idat Marlene min al Shark Wal Gharb”, but do not use oil or water for top of kibbeh.

2.   Divide kibbeh dough to 4 parts, knead one part and shape it into a long piece between two wax papers brushed with oil.  Roll to a 30 X 14 cm rectangle and remove top wax paper.

3.  Place some filling in the middle along the long and press on it to adhere to kibbeh dough.

4.  Using the wax paper, roll dough once and press on joining points to adhere.  Close both ends with wet fingers.

5.  Brush a piece of aluminum foil with oil and use it to roll kibbeh while pressing on it tightly.  Twist both ends.  Prepare the rest of kibbeh in same way. (Recipe may be prepared to this step one day before serving).

7.  Bake kibbeh rolls in a preheated 180 C° (350 F°) oven about 30 minutes, remove aluminum foil and bake 15 minutes more or till golden.

Set kibbeh rolls aside about 10 minutes then cut on the diagonal to about 1½ to 2 cm pieces.  Serve hot or warm with salad of choice.