Recipe: Yazbek Kibbi

Kibbi, or Kibbeh, is basically a variety of meat loaf, although to call it a meat loaf seems like an insult to me.

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Yazbek Kibbi (as told by Mrs. Yazbek to her daughters)

5 pounds extra lean ground lamb
3 large onions, chopped (white or yellow onions)
3 cups bulgur
1/3 cup or so pine nuts
Spices such as salt, pepper, cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Sauté 1/2 the onion in some olive oil. Add 1 pound of the meat, pine nuts and spices to taste (salt, pepper, cinnamon.) Be generous with those spices. Set aside when cooked.

Put a handful of remaining meat and the remaining onion into the food processor until soft. Take out of the processor and add to the remaining meat and bulgur. Mix by hand. Knead together until bulgur is thoroughly mixed in with the meat and the onion. (You will need to add some water.) Put entire meat mixture into the food processor. Add some water and mix until soft and easy to spread.

Use one large pan (12" x 16" or so) or two smaller pans (9" x 13"). Grease the pan with olive oil. Put down the bottom layer of the meat mixture into the pan. Not too thin. Spread the stuffing mix over the bottom layer. Lay down the top layer of the meat mixture. Use water as needed to spread the mixture. Put a hole in the middle of the kibbi (with your finger and a bit bigger) and cut up the kibbi to the portion sizes of your choice. Cover with 1/2 cup olive oil.

Bake for about 45 minutes - 1 hour.

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Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.

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