Kibbeh Nayeh, most often known as a Lebanese dish, is one of those foods that’s like Marmite, you either love it or hate it, with very little in between.
Why would people eat raw meat in the first place you may ask?
The answer is that it actually tastes good!
And people have been eating dishes of raw meat in different countries around the world forever.
Raw meat dishes like yookhwe (raw beef) from Korea, ossenworst (raw ox) from the Netherlands, steak tartare (raw beef) from France, mett (raw pork) from Germany, kifto (raw beef) from Ethiopia, crudos (raw beef) from Chile, carne apache (raw beef) from Mexico, and carpaccio (raw beef) from Italy, to name some, are all enjoyed everyday around the world.
To be honest there was a time in my life when I couldn’t even contemplate eating any kind of meat raw, not even sushi!
I actually started with sushi and moved quickly onto sashimi once I realized what a delight it was!
Carpaccio was probably the first raw meat I tried followed by steak tartare.
I found it all to be delicious.
Which brought me to the raw dish in my own backyard, Kibbeh Nayeh!
It too turned out to be delicious.
Now these meat dishes are not something I would eat everyday, other than sashimi perhaps, but they are dishes I will gladly eat from time to time, and enjoy immensely.
What is Kibbeh Nayeh?
Like most things that are served raw, it has a history of being consumed shortly after an animal was butchered.
This would reduce any chance of bacteria having a chance to grow on the fresh meat making it dangerous for consumption.
This is why cleanliness, and care are paramount for anyone making this dish.
Otherwise, like any other raw dish, there is a chance of the meat making you sick.
Always follow the instructions, and clean handling methods when making this dish.
Is it Safe to Eat to Eat Raw Lamb?
Yes it is.
But make sure that when you make this particular dish that you think clean, clean, clean.
I am very fanatical about making sure everything is ultra clean.
I am a big believer in reducing cross contamination in my kitchen.
It’s very important to be sure that you do not introduce any bacteria into your food by carelessly preparing raw meat.
Just be sure that you are working with very freshly cut meat, a clean grinder, clean food processor with clean blades and a spotless working space.
I like to use sterile gloves to mix the ingredients.
How to Make Kibbeh Nayeh
Starting with a freshly cut leg of lamb I am sure to make it as lean as possible and I will use the meat from the upper part of the leg and of course removing the bone.
I cut the meat into strips so that they more easily grind in the grinder.
Next, I grind the meat twice to make sure it is well processed.
Then I place the ground lamb into a large bowl.
Into a food processor I add mint leaves, white onions, salt, pepper, spices with soaked bulgar.
I like to substitute red pepper flakes instead of black pepper.
I process until the ingredients are well mixed and add to the meat.
Dip your hands into the minced lamb mix and knead the mixture.
Once well mixed I will plate it up making a nicely shaped mound of meat.
Using a spoon I will make ridges along the top as a way to decorate, and of course this can be done in whatever way you choose.
Garnish with mint, parsley, peppers, lemons, and add a garlic spread in a small bowl on the side.
Serve with pita bread for this Middle Eastern delight.
Equipment I Used
Kibbeh Nayeh Recipe
- Place the burghul in a bowl and cover with ½ cup hot water, set aside to soak and absorb the water.
- Add the burghul after it has soaked up the water. Be sure that it is not soggy by squeezing any excess water out.
- Process until everything is mixed well and the mint leaves are chopped up.
- Place the ground lamb in a large bowl, add all ingredients from the food processor, mix well using your hands. (I use sterile gloves when I do this part).
- Once mixed, place on a serving dish and decorate using a spoon to make small grooves in the meat.
- Garnish with your choice of chopped parsley, mint leaves, red peppers, lemon, and even garlic.