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If you recently purchased a meat grinder, or a grinder option for your stand mixer, you might have been mystified to discover a "kubbe" attachment among its accessories. This is intended to speed and simplify the preparation of one of the most-loved of all Middle Eastern dishes. Kubbe, also transliterated as koubba and kibbeh, is a simple, tasty dish made by encasing spiced lamb in a wheat-based shell.

A Kubbe Primer

Kubbe was traditionally labor-intensive, calling for the lamb to be very finely minced and seasoned before stuffing it inside its dough shell. The dough was prepared from bulgur wheat and a portion of the minced lamb, mixed into a stiff paste and then shaped into hollow ovals. Cookbook author Claudia Roden notes that young women with long, slender forefingers -- a "kubbe finger" -- were envied for the natural advantage it gave them in shaping long kubbe with thin, even walls. That desirable combination of length and thinness is much easier to achieve with a kubbe attachment on your grinder.

Using the Attachment

To use the kubbe attachment, unplug your grinder and remove the blade and grinder plate. Kubbe attachments are usually manufactured in two pieces: the extruder tube and the threaded, ring-shaped flange that holds it in place. Drop the end of the tube through the flange, then lock the flange in place over the end of the grinder. Fill its hopper with your kubbe dough, and start the motor. The kubbe attachment will turn out a long, hollow cylinder of perfectly thin, even dough. Cut these tubes into even lengths of 2 1/2 to 4 inches, as desired, and fill them with spiced lamb. Once sealed at each end, the kubbe can be either fried or baked until crisp and golden brown.