Kibbeh meat pie

December 9, 2008  •  Category: ,

Or what is commonly called kibbeh b’sanyyeh (kibbeh in a pan). I love the food processor! that way, instead of spending literally hours pounding and pounding in a corner of the kitchen like a slave I can get a kibbeh done in about 15 minutes if I plan ahead and have the stuffing ready. It is yet an undiscovered treasure of Lebanese cuisine in the west. An intimate marriage of the finest meat and bulghur and spices it provides protein and whole-grain and can be eaten plain or accompanied by yogurt or hummos or any salad. It can be frozen and baked right out of the freezer. The stuffing can be prepared ahead and stored in the freezer.


Kibbeh meat pie

Joumana Accad Mediterranean, Middle Eastern December 9, 2008 Main Dish, Meats, meat, traditional dishes, Kibbeh pie, tagged,

8 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


1 pound sirloin extra lean (or eye of round see Note)
1 medium onion quartered
1 1/2 cup bulgur #1 extra fine, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup oil or ghee or clarified butter

1/2 cup pine nuts or sliced almond or chopped nuts

1 large onion, chopped fine

1 lb ground beef or lamb

salt, to taste (about 1 1/2 tsp)

1 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, pinch of black pepper



  1. Make the stuffing first to set aside or freeze (if preparing ahead)

Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the nuts until golden. Remove and set aside. Fry the onion until translucent, then add the meat and spices. Make sure to break down the meat with two spoons and cook until the meat is well browned. Transfer to a freezer bag if making it ahead or set it aside in a bowl.

2. Place the meat in the food processor and run it for a few minutes until the meat turns pasty and smooth, removing any silverskin (white tough fat tissue) if you find any. Transfer the meat paste into a bowl.

3. Drain the bulgur well. Place the onion in the food processor and puree the onion with the bulgur and spices.  Add the meat gradually, scraping the bowl here and there with a rubber spatula, and adding a couple of ice cubes if necessary to help make it as smooth as possible. and process a few minutes till it is nicely mixed, a few minutes. The kibbeh dough needs to be moist, firm and really smooth without any white fat.

3. Grease a 10" cake or pie dish; divide the kibbeh mixture in two even pieces of about the same weight. cut 2 large pieces of wax paper and place one half of the kibbeh meat on the paper. Place on top of it another piece of wax paper. Use a rolling pin to spread the mixture as you would a pie crust, to fit the shape of your pan. Then place the mixture by flipping it onto the pan. Now spread the filling evenly on the layer of kibbeh. Spread the second half of kibbeh on the wax paper in the same manner. Flip it onto the filling and seal the pie with your moistened fingers. With a pizza knife, run from one end of the dish to the other diagonal lines at two opposing angles, forming lozanges. Place a pine nut on each lozange, if you wish. Spread the top of the pie with some olive oil or dabs of butter.

4. Place in a preheated 350F oven for about 20-30 minutes. Enjoy either hot or at room temperature, with a bit of plain yogurt on the side.

Recipe Notes

The leanest cuts of beef are:

  • Eye of round roast and steak
  • Sirloin tip side steak
  • Top round roast and steak
  • Bottom round roast and steak
  • Top sirloin steak

In any case, pick one that has no marbling, and cut out all the fat surrounding it.

In Beirut, lots of folks use a meat grinder set at the finest setting to grind the kibbeh. This is of course the best method, but it would require purchasing a meat grinder! In the olden days, folks *mainly women, used a giant mortar called jeren.

In the photos above, Chef Asma is making kibbeh by laying small pieces of meat next to the other on the pan, and flattening them with her palm. I find this method a bit time-consuming and prefer to roll the dough between two pieces of wax paper and flip it over the pan.

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5 Comments  •  Comments Feed

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  2. Kay Brockwell says:

    Question…in the instructions, it says nothing about how to prepare the filling. Are the filling ingredients all mixed, raw? Or are any of them cooked first?

    Looking forward to trying this. Thanks!

  3. Cook - Want to be says:

    I can see how the question about preparing the filling would come about. For me the instructions are somewhat confusing. Immediately after the stuffing ingredients are listed are ” INSTRUCTIONS”. Step #1 says saute onions, add meat add spices etc. Step #2 says put meat in processor. Had to read instructions several times to determine this was not the same meat, since filling didn’t have burghul in it. Next step to roll out the meat on wax paper to place in Pie plate doesn’t give size of Pie Plate or thickness to roll out the meat. Listed 1 lb of meat for Shell should be rolled out to different thickness to accommodate various size pans ? Last, what is a lonages ?, one picture shows meat cut in squares, other
    shows meat cut in fancy triangle.

  4. Joumana Accad says:

    @Cook-Want to be
    Thank you for your pertinent remarks. I am actually surprised the recipe is still there, it was one of my first when I started the blog, and I was supposed to delete it when I published the cookbook. I will not delete it however, I will update it.

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