Raw kibbeh is a typical Middle Eastern preparation, made from raw lean beef or lamb, mixed with bulgur, onion, olive oil, and spices.
This dish is eaten during festivities in various Middle Eastern countries and is considered the national dish of Lebanon. Although many people also associate it with Syria. In ancient times, families used to sacrifice an animal for celebrations, and immediately consume it, this freshness guaranteed that it was safe to eat.
Today, it is very rare for a family to slaughter an animal, and most meat is bought at butchers, but the recipe is still being made. To do this, you must buy fresh lamb and prepare it the same day. Getting the best fresh meat is still the key.
What is Kibbeh Nayeh?
The term "Kibbeh Nayeh" means "Raw Kibbeh" and is used to differentiate it from the famous traditional Kibbeh, which is fried.
Kibbeh Nayeh is tartar. Considering that in gastronomic terms it is called tartar, and preparation of raw meat or fish, finely chopped and seasoned with spices.
Similar preparations exist in various regions, and although not all people like to eat raw meat, many countries have raw meat dishes in their kitchens. It has been documented that the consumption of this type of dish was considered healthy since the 16th century. At that time, without means of refrigeration, eating raw meat ensured freshness.
Secrets of the Kibbeh Nayeh
1. The selection of meat is everything in this dish. Although it seems obvious, it is necessary to highlight it. If you want the perfect kibbeh Nayeh, be sure to get very fresh, fat-free, finely chopped beef or lamb. Ideally, ask the butcher to grind this meat two or three times for the perfect kibbeh.
2. Cleaning the meat. Once you have the meat at home, it is important to be very rigorous and eliminate any remaining fat, skin, or tendon.
3. The quality of the seasonings, the quantity, and the harmony of the flavors will work in your favor. The most common and recommended condiments for this preparation are black pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. And aromatic herbs such as parsley, mint, marjoram, and coriander. There are even those who use dried rose petals.
4. The times. Kibbeh Nayeh requires a marinade of at least three hours in the fridge. It is important to serve this dish as soon as it is removed from the fridge because it is much better cold.
5. Side dish. This dish is eaten with a spoon, or better yet, with pita bread. So, accompanying it with freshly baked bread is essential. Plus, you can add a bit of freshness, serving with cucumber slices, radishes, bell peppers, and fresh mint leaves.
Dare to enjoy this delicious tartare full of history and flavor today.