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KHEYMA, ARMENIAN OR KIBBEH, ARABIC OR LEBANESE

A mixture of cultures in this ancient dish. We are talking about raw meat here, so it is going to only as safe as your source of meat.



I grew up eating this and I am over 80 years old. Those were the days when they had real butchers who cut and ground meat by hand. I don't know what butchers do now, but they know lot about plastic wrap and price guns. If you can get fresh ground "top grade" beef, go for this recipe.


RECIPE PRINTED FROM: THEGUTSYGOURMET.NET©
INGREDIENTS: SERVES 6 - 8
•  2 cups fine bulgur (#1 grade cracked wheat)

•  1 cup sweet onion, coarsely chopped, plus 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion

•  1 - 2 tablespoons cinnamon
•  ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper  or Tabasco® sauce to taste

•  5 teaspoons salt

•  2 lbs. eye of round beef, trimmed of all fat and gristle

•  2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
•  1 tablespoons fresh basil leaves,  minced (Optional)

•  1 cup Armenian or Italian flat leafed parsley,  minced (Optional)
•  3-4 tablespoons high quality olive oil

1.  Rinse the bulgur in cold water, drain, and cover to ½ inch with cold water. Soak for ½ hour, or until
     the bulgur is softened.

2.  Either ask the butcher to grind the meat for you (three times on clean blades), or grind it yourself,
     It is difficult to find butchers that will do special grinding or cutting of meat for you nowadays. To
     grind meat, slice the trimmed meat into rectangles, about  4 × 2 inches. Season lightly with salt
     and pepper and freeze for 30 minutes. Grind the meat once on the fine/small holes on the
     grinder, or twice on the large holes.  I like to use a food processor to process it to my liking. **SEE COOK'S NOTES - 1**

2.  Puree the 1 cup coarsely chopped onion with ⅛ cup cold water. Place the water in the blender first,
     then the onion, so that the blades don’t get stuck under the onion. You may need to stop and stir
     the onion so that it gets caught by the blades.  Again,  a food processor works the best for this
     procedure.

3.  To combine the kibbeh meat, keep a small bowl of ice water nearby to keep hands wet and cold.
     In a large bowl, knead the meat with the pureed onion and about half of the cracked wheat. If there
     is any visible water left in the cracked wheat from soaking, squeeze it out of the wheat before adding
     it to the kibbeh. Dip hands in water as you knead, adding about ¼ cup of the water in total; be
     careful not to add too much water to the kibbeh or it will become mushy rather than simply soft.
     Add the wheat ½ cup at a time until it’s fully incorporated. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne and
     cinnamon, tasting and adjusting the seasoning.

4.  To serve, flatten the kibbeh on a plate and indent a design with your fingertips. Drizzle with olive oil
     and top with the finely chopped onion and mint. Serve with thin pita bread and labneh (thickened
     yogurt). Toasted pine nuts are an excellent garnish too.**SEE COOK'S NOTES - 2**

5.  Kibbeh is often served topped with househ (browned ground beef and onion with pine nuts). Sautè
     a medium yellow onion,  chopped, in olive oil until soft. Add ½ pound of ground beef from chuck,
     and season with salt, pepper, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Cook until browned, breaking the meat up
     with the edge of a metal spoon. Squeeze half of a lemon over the meat, and toss with ¼ cup or more
     toasted pine nuts. Place a spoonful over the kibbeh when it is served on your plate.

**COOK'S NOTES** 
1.  If you are going to the effort to make Kibbeh or Kheyma,  make a pound or two extra and bake it or
     fry it for great dinners for the next couple of days.

2.  Kibbeh and Kheyma can both be served flat on a plate with designs pressed into the top.  It can also
     be presented like the photo above.  This is a personal choice,  but it tastes the same either way….…
     delicious!



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