Goat kibbeh tartare (Kibbeh Nayeh)

July 5, 2010  •  Category:


An outing was planned this Sunday to visit one of the producers at Souk el Tayeb and get acquainted with the region ofEhden in which he and his family  live. A short hike in the Nature Reservefollowed by a feast at their home was on the program.

Mr. Sarkis Jeriusand his wife Leena slaughtered a goat, an ancient tradition in Lebanon that goes back to the days of Abraham. We were offered this very fresh goat meat in its various traditional forms: raw, in a kibbeh, in brochettes.

Raw kibbeh or kibbeh nayeh made with  fresh goat meat was the one plate which drew the most oohs and aahs from the enraptured guests.

Kibbe nayeh is considered by Lebanese  as the masterpiece on our mezze table and  is of course best with very fresh meat.

Following the feast which included a tabouleh, various mezze dishes, desserts, fruits from their orchard, and of course all thearakour heart desired, we were treated to a spontaneous recital by our host (who had at one time won first prize in a competition at Studio El-Fan); when asked how he maintained his svelte figure, his answer was: ” Sweat every day, no salt, no sugar and I only eat the meat I slaughter myself!”.

What a day! It was worth the long drive home to Beirut.

Check out all the outings organized by the Souk el-Tayeb folks; not only do you get to discover a region but you will also meet local farmers and producers, only too happy to share their life with you for a day.

INGREDIENTS: For the kibbeh nayieh

  • 2 pounds of raw goat meat as fresh as possible (can substitute lamb or beef), very lean
  • 1 medium white onion (about 7 ounces)
  • 12 large  leaves of fresh basil (can substitute fresh marjoram)
  • salt, black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (to taste)
  • one or more ice cubes
  • 2 cups of fine grade bulgur (#1)


  1. Grate the onion and sprinkle it with the spices. Mix lightly with a fork. Set aside for a few minutes.
  2. Place the bulgur in a bowl; add water to cover by an inch or so, let it soak for a couple of minutes  and rinse; squeeze well to remove the moisture from the bulgur and add to the onion and spices.
  3. Process the meat for several minutes in the food processor with a few ice cubes if the meat is very fresh; make sure the meat is pasty and smooth and  add the onion mixture  and the chopped leaves of fresh basil or marjoram. Process some more to get a homogenous mixture. Remove and flatten into a serving platter, forming small indentations with the back of a spoon.
  4. Decorate with fresh mint leaves and spring onions or white onions, quartered. Serve with a pitcher of extra-virgin olive oil and pita bread.


25 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Grapefruit says:

    Now I know this is what my brother was talking about when he said he was offered ‘Lahm naye’ at a friends’ house!
    I have my reservations about anything containing the word ‘raw’ in the ingredient list. But this is intriguing all the same!

  2. Gloria says:

    Dear, we love kibbe at home My son and hubby specially (mi daugther is vegggi) yours look awesome. absolutely nice pictures, huggs, all look lovely and tasty gloria

  3. peter says:

    I’ve never had raw goat or lamb but if the animal is freshly slaughtered, I’m game (even throw in a couple of cloves of garlic for me).

  4. Magic of Spice says:

    Great dish and the fruit looks so great! Beautiful photos, looks like a wonderful time:)

  5. PreeOccupied says:

    Its good to know about different cultures and traditions. We Indians also sacrifice goat during certain festivals. But I have never had raw goat meat. Here in Toronto, I rarely find goat meat in supermarkets, but I get mine from a South American lady who sells the freshest meat. I made a Goat Meat Curry/ Mutton Curry just yesterday.

    Your photos look awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Diego Barreto says:

    I am Brazilian, I love Lebanese cuisine. I would love for you to describe in recipes, cooking methods, and techniques of classic cuisine!
    تهانينا على بلوق الخاص بك!

  7. Faith says:

    I remember the first time I had lamb kibbeh — my mother in law had made it and I wasn’t sure how I would like it. I ate it anyway and I actually really enjoyed it (even though I’m not a fan of lamb in general). This recipe looks great and I’d be interested in trying it with goat.

  8. Diego Barreto says:

    *the classic lebanese cuisine methods

  9. Nadege says:

    Your trip seems the same as when I go back to France. Family and friends, good foods with them and gorgeous scenery.

  10. Marc @ NoRecipes says:

    Wow that looks amazing. I recently did a whole lamb roast up at a farm near here. Next year, we’re talking about doing a whole goat, if we do, I’ll have to remember to set some meat aside to make this Kibbeh!

  11. Oui, Chef says:

    I’ve had this with lamb before, and absolutely love it! How does the flavor differ with goat? I’ve never had the chance to try it that way. My 13 yr old step-daughter could live on kibbe, and in fact, had it as her meal when we dined at LIZA in Paris the other night. A wonderful meal, have you ever been? – S

  12. MaryMoh says:

    New to me but looks very delicious with some crisp bread or chips. Thanks very much for sharing.

  13. A Canadian Foodie says:

    Love Tabouleh! Have made it so many times that I have a version we like the best… and it is like all other family salads… no one else’s is quite the same.

  14. A Canadian Foodie says:

    The salad looks curious – gorgeous… so does the goat meat – but it is fr too gamey for me. I would add YUCK. I have never tasted any goat meat that was palatable to me. Interestingly, it seems to not be palatable to many. Every recipe of it is so highly seasoned to seemingly mask the meat flavour – but I can still taste it.
    I have a very open palate, but this is not one meat I can eat… yet.

  15. brian_in_gib says:

    Hi Joumana,
    You’re really having fun on this trip eh? I’ve never eaten raw goat but I like my lamb rare so I’d give this a try. Is the meat as strong flavoured as when it’s cooked? I can’t imagine what it would taste like and now I’m intrigued… I’ve only tried goat meat a few times, and it’s always been roasted and powerful on the palate.

    • Joumana says:

      @brian and steve: the flavor is a tinge stronger than other meats, but the art is in how the kibbeh is seasoned; this was a goat that had been fed on pasture food and was two years old, which ensured us we were being fed the best meat possible.

  16. OysterCulture says:

    Sounds amazing. I’ve never had raw goat either but would definitely be willing to try it after that description. Sounds like just a wonderful day.

  17. brian_in_gib says:

    well, I think I would definitely give it a go if I could but free range goat is a rare thing here! here’s hoping I someday make it to Lebanon. For now, Marrakesh next week will have to suffice. 🙂 I hope to bring back some good food stories for the blog…

  18. Christine @ Fresh says:

    I continue to be impressed with the versatility of Lebanese cooking! I’ve never cooked with goat meat, and I’m very curious about the flavor. Since I am in SF for the next few weeks, I’ll be able to pick up some ground goat at the farmer’s market. I’ll have to try this one. Your children are so lucky to be able to eat such a great range of good food.

  19. grace says:

    but it’s raw! this is surprising to me, but with those seasonings, i suspect i’d enjoy it very much.

  20. Amy @ cookbookmaniac says:

    I absolutely love kibbeh nayieh. I want to make this at home, but I am worried about being sold meat that isnt fresh enough. I always order it if it is on the menu at lebanese restaurants.

  21. Nadia says:

    I love goat meat. I never ate it raw but I am quite enticed by it in this kibbeh. Lovely photos, the food and scenery are beautiful.

  22. Janice says:

    Just googled “Goat Meat Toronto” and your blog came up. We are producers of meat goat. We are interested in finding our own customers for our product. We have a local abbatoire who will slaughter the animals – they are pasture raised in Prince Edward County and not fed any chemicals etc…. Any thoughts?

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