Prepared by Chef Badia Chaia of Al-Barmaki Restaurant, Beirut. Donald Aspinwall Allan, This was Beirut, Saudi Aramco World, November/ December 1975.

1 lb. lean lamb from the leg
1 lb. cracked wheat
1 medium onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. allspice
Bowl of water with ice

1 cup butter

14 oz. ground lamb from neck
2 medium onions
3/4 cup pine nuts
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Kibbeh: Wash cracked wheat and squeeze out the water. Put the lamb through the fine blade of meat grinder and then pound it to a paste. Chop onion very fine and pound with salt and allspice. Put onion and meat through the grinder once together. Knead meat mixture with cracked wheat, dipping hands in ice water to keep meat smooth. Put mixture through grinder, adding ice water as required for smoothness. Set aside and prepare stuffing.

Stuffing: grind lamb once and mix with minced onions and spices. Sautee in skillet with vegetable oil. Sauté pine nuts until brown.

Butter a large round baking pan and pat in a smooth layer of kibbeh about half an inch thick. Spread stuffing in a second layer over the kibbeh. Shape a second slightly thicker layer of kibbeh on a large plate and place layer on top of stuffing. Score surface of top layer with a knife to make a diamond pattern. Poke a hole with finger in middle of loaf. Run a knife around the edge of pan and pour melted butter around sides. Dot surface with butter, place in hot oven for about 20 minutes, or until browned. Garnish with pine nuts. Serves six.

Chef Badia Chaia