Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day 29 - Labanese Lamb and Burghul Meatball Soup

The first day of our vacation, Darien and I dragged ourselves out of bed at 7am and went for a run with Justin, (Darien's brother who is in the military). I had low expectations of keeping up with the boys, but I managed to carry my own.

Later, I grabbed my mother in-laws one speed cruiser bike for a 7 mile bike ride. I was struggling to go up the hills since I wasn't able to switch gears. But I felt slightly encourage when I passed a man on riding a nice Trek road bike.

After thoroughly enjoying the sunshine and warm whether which is Florida's prime attribute in the winter, I went to the grocery store to buy my ingredients for tonight's soup. I had overestimated the strength and quality of the plastic basket on the bike, and had to endure the sound of metal and rubber rubbing for 30 minutes. I kept silently praying I wouldn't pop the front tire, and end up stranded 6 miles from my in-laws.

My inspiration for the soup tonight came from my mother-in-law. She is half Labanese and makes wonderful kibbi, baba ghanoush, tabouleh, fatya, and other mouth-watering dishes. I have a strong penchant for Arabic food, and I especially love Kibbi (also, kibbeh, kibbe), which is ground lamb with burghul, pine nuts and some warm spices such as cinnamon and all spice.

Labanese Lamb and Burghul Meatball Soup
Source: Krystal Ford, and kibbi recipe from Labanese cuisine.
Lamb Stock
Two Large lamb bones
1 large sprig of rosemary
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped
1 celery stalked chopped finely
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp of cinnamon
1/8 tsp of all spice
Sprigs of parsley for garnish

Fry the onion for a few minutes on medium heat, add lamb bones, rosemary, garlic and cover completely with water. Simmer for 1hr to 1hr and half. Strain out bones, onions, rosemary and skim off fat.

Sautee peppers and celery. Deglaze with 1/4 cup of red wine. Add lamb stock and bring to a gentle boil. Add cinnamon and all spice and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Add kibbi meatballs (directions below) and simmer for 5-8 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

Kibbi meatballs

1 cup of burghul
1 medium onion, grated
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp of cinnamon
1/8 tsp of all spice (or cloves can be substituted)
1lb ground lamb (beef can also be substituted)
1/4 cup of pine nuts (toasted)


Cover burghul with cold water and soak for 10 minutes. Drain and press between palms to remove excess water. Work onions and spices with fingers and knead meat with spices working thoroughly. Add the burghul and pine nuts to the meat and mix thoroughly. Make into round meat balls (around 1-2 inches diameter) and fry with a bit of olive oil until brown on all sides. Place meat balls in oven at 400F to keep warm.

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