Sfeeha (open-faced meat pie)  صفيحة

Sfeeha is the kind of food that can be served alone as a main dish or as a side dish. It’s often added as a great side dish if one’s is having a party or a big gathering. Sfeeha is made with either ground beef or lamb mixed together with onions, tomatoes, bell pepper. Some other recipes include tahini sauce to the mix.

Whenever my mom made this savory pastry I always felt like we were up for a treat. I very much enjoyed eating it while it’s freshly baked. The smell coming out of the oven while sfeeha is baking makes one so anxious waiting for the minute it’s fully baked and ready to be served.

Making the stuffing can be a bit tricky and whether the meat should be cooked before adding it to the dough or not, as the main concern is that once baked the meat should stick to the dough and doesn’t come off.

My sister-in-law back home Maha, not only she makes a delicious sfeeha, but also the way it turns out makes it look like it’s coming out of a mold. So I turned to her to get the recipe. I did my best to make it look as good as hers, it certainly tastes so good, but maybe I wasn’t close to the perfection looks as Maha’s sfeeha. So I will let you be the judge.

So here is how to make sfeeha:

Start with the dough: In a large bowl mix together flour, salt and then add yogurt and oil, in a separate cup mix yeast with sugar in warm water, pour over everything else and start kneading until the mix gets doughy and easy to work with. Using your hands rub the bowl with some oil and also rub some on the dough itself while keeping it as a big round shape then cover the bowl with plastic wrapping and a blanket and let it rest for about an hour.

Meanwhile, start preparing the meat stuffing. I like to mix half beef and half lamb, place the meat in a pot and on high heat while continuing stirring let the meat cook until the red color turns into more brownish, the idea here is not to fully cook the meat, but perhaps to get all the water out, this will help to get rid of all the water residue that comes out of the meat so it can help the meat stick to the dough while baking. This step will take about 15 minutes. Once done place the meat in a strainer to get all water out.

The next step is preparing the vegetables to be added to the meat. Finely chop tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, salt, allspice, tomatoes paste, sour pomegranate molasses (optional) you can add lemon juice if the latter is not available. Mix everything well with the meat.

Heat oven on 420 F and once the dough is ready, with your hands take a small piece of the dough and round it in a ball shape, place in a greased baking sheet, then flatten with your fingers (try not to flatten it too thin, it’s nice to have it a bit fluffy once baked) with a spoon scoop out some of the meat and vegetable mixture and place over the flattened dough, press well with hands to make sure the meat mixture sticks with the dough. Continue this process until the tray is full, make sure there is some space between one sfeeha and the other, so they won’t stick to each other while baking. After filling the dough with the meat mixture let it sit for another 30 minutes before baking.

Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the bottom turns golden brown. This makes about 25-30 depending on the size of each.

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Sfeeha (open-faced meat pie)  صفيحة

  • Author: Wafa Shami

Description

 the kind of food that can be served alone as a main dish or as a side dish. It’s often added as a great side dish if one’s is having a party or a big gathering. Sfeeha is made with either ground beef or lamb mixed together with onions, tomatoes, bell pepper. Some other recipes include tahini sauce to the mix.


Ingredients

Scale

Dough

  • 4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup oil (olive or vegetable)
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup of warm water

Stuffing

  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb (or half of each)
  • 34 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomatoes paste
  • 2 tablespoon sour pomegranate molasses or lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • Hot chili pepper (optional)
  • salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, then add yogurt and oil, in a separate cup mix yeast with sugar in warm water, pour over everything else and start kneading until the mix gets doughy and easy to work with.
  2. Rub the bowl with some oil and also add rub oil on the dough itself while keeping it as one big round shape then cover the bowl with plastic wrapping and a blanket and let it rest for about an hour.
  3. Meanwhile start preparing the meat stuffing, place the meat in a pot and on high heat while continuing stirring let the meat cook until the red color turns into more brownish. This step will take about 15 minutes. Once done, place the meat in a strainer to get all the water out.
  4. Add finely chopped tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, salt, allspice, tomatoes paste, sour pomegranate molasses or lemon juice and mix everything well with the meat.
  5. With your hands take a small piece of the dough and rounded it in a ball shape, place in a greased baking sheet, then flatten with your fingers, with a spoon scoop out the meat and vegetable mixture and place over the flattened dough, press well with hands to make sure the meat mixture sticks with the dough. Continue this step until the tray is full.
  6. After filling the dough with the meat mixture let it sit for about 30 minutes before baking.
  7. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the bottom turns golden brown.

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