There are many versions of potato kibbeh; some are strictly vegan, others contain a layer of meat, some are made into balls and stuffed with onions and nuts, etc. This one is made up of mashed potato mixed with bulgur and stuffed with a layer of ground meat and onions (with a sprinkling of nuts and raisins).
INGREDIENTS: for one pie or 6 servings. Double the quantities if you need to feed up to 10 people.
- 2 lbs of potatoes (baking or Russet preferably)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup of dry breadcrumbs (or Kaak crumbs)
- 3/4 cup of extra-fine white bulgur (#1)
- salt, white pepper, dash of nutmeg
- 3 tbsp of butter or oil
- 2 cups of ground meat (about 2/3 lb)
- 1 onion, chopped
- salt, pepper, dash of allspice, dash of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup of nuts (pine nuts, almonds, pecans)
- 1 tbsp of golden raisins (optional)
- 3 tbsp of oil
- Prepare the stuffing (which can be done the day before or several days and frozen): heat the olive oil and fry the pine nuts watching them as they can burn in a split second; remove them from the skillet and set them aside on a small plate; add the onion to the skillet and fry till soft; add the meat and brown sprinkling the spices. Finally, when the meat has browned well add the nuts and raisins back in the skillet, stir to combine and turn off the heat.
- Prepare the bulgur and potato: Place the bulgur in a bowl and rinse under running tap water; sprinkle about 1/2 cup of water on the bulgur and let it sit for a few minutes. Boil the potatoes (or microwave) until soft; peel and mash in a potato ricer. Place in the bowl of a mixer and add the bulgur and spices and the egg. Mix until the mixture is compact and well-combined. (Please read note below)
- Grease (preferably with butter) a pyrex or ovenproof dish; transfer half the potato mixture onto the plate. Fill a small bowl with water and with damp fingers, pat the potato dough into the pan and smooth it out; Spread the meat filling over it. Place the rest of the potato dough over the filling, one bit at a time, tapping each mound with wet hands so that it does not stick and can be spread out evenly across the pan. Sprinkle the dry breadcrumbs (or kaak) over the pan; place small nuggets of butter all over the pan (about 6 to 8). Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 20 minutes or until the kibbeh is a bit puffed up and has taken on a nice golden caramel color. Serve warm.
NOTE: When preparing the bulgur, the idea is to humidify it with a sprinkle of water; if the bulgur is slightly damp and fluffy, great! If there is some water left, make sure you drain it and press it against a sieve before combining it with the potato.