- 2 lbs venison roast
- 2 cups corn grits or burghul wheat
- 1 large onion minced
- 1/2 cup chopped hickory nuts or pine nuts
- 1 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black walnut oil or olive oil
- Grind your venison roast using the finest setting on your meat grinder and then grind it again for good measure.
- Heat two cups of water and pour over your corn grits or burghul wheat in a bowl to rehydrate.
- Finely mince the onion until it is almost a paste.
- Chop your hickory nuts into rice size chunks. Sautee them with a little bit of kibbeh meat for the filling.
- Mix the ground venison, rehydrated corn grits, minced onion and walnut oil in a large bowl and add the spices. Mix well with clean hands.
- Line a deep baking dish with some oil and press half of the kibbeh meat mixture into an even layer on the dish. Pour the roasted nut filling evenly over the bottom layer and top it with the other half of the kibbeh meat mixture.
- Using a sharp knife, cut a diamond pattern into the kibbeh to form bite-size pieces.
- Bake in a 400 degree oven for around 40 minutes, top with fresh parsley and enjoy!
The first and most important thing to know about kibbeh is that there are A LOT of different ways to make it. Most Syrian or Lebanese restaurants serve kibbeh in little deep-fried football shapes stuffed with meat and pine nuts and they are absolutely delicious. At home kibbeh is often cooked in a baking dish as a spiced meatloaf or even eaten raw with pita bread as kibbeh nayyeh. Because Silvan and I are striving to only use ingredients that we can produce ourselves, we are straying very far from the tradition of using lamb, burghul wheat and olive oil and instead using venison, corn grits and black walnut oil. Since I started hunting, I’ve been experimenting with replicating a lot of the traditional dishes I grew up with using venison in place of lamb and even my Syrian father who was VERY hesitant to try venison has praised these renditions.
The key to making proper venison kibbeh is to grind the meat extremely fine. In Syrian grocery stores they will usually offer a product called “kibbeh meat” which is just meat that they put through the grinder twice. We achieve the proper texture at home by grinding our meat partially frozen and then feeding the ground meat back through the grinder on the finest screen. You can also do this with a knife and cutting board if you want a good workout!