This is one that I learnt from my mother who learnt it from her mother who learnt it from her mother… you get the drift. Laham B’ajeen is a Syrian specialty, a meat pie with beef and tamarind and so delicious too! It’s not the quickest of things to make but trust me, the outcome is well worth it.
You will need
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/4 active dry yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2lbs ground beef
- 3 onions, finely chopped and squeezed of excess liquid
- 1 6oz can of tomato puree/paste
- juice of 2 lemons
- 2 cups tamarind concentrate or ou
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- pine nuts for garnish
- First we start by making the dough. Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, add the dissolved yeast and mix well. Add in the vegetable oil and mix again. Gradually add 1 cup of warm water, kneading until a soft dough is formed.
- Cover with a clean towel or cling film and let rest in a place warmer than room temperature for 1 hour. While it is rising, preheat your oven to 350.
- Next we make the topping. Combine the beef, onion, tomato paste, lemon juice, tamarind or ou, allspice and salt and mix well.
- Grab the dough and separate into 4 pieces. Roll each piece of dough until it's as thin as possible, without tearing it.
- Using a cookie cutter or a medium sized glass, cut dough into small rounds, about 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
- Place the rounds on greased baking sheets and spread a tablespoon of the meat filling on to each round, pressing in firmly, then decorate with pine nuts.
- Bake the pies for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Makes 4 dozen pies