Last Christmas, during our annual family party, my dad, who worked closely with chef Antoine Hajj, offered for each one of us, a copy of his book: Maa’kool Al Hana.
A quick note for my western readers; Chef Antoine is a Lebanese celebrity chef who has a TV show and the author of the cooking book Maa’kool Al Hana; an approximate of 600 pages cooking book!!
We all loved dad’s Christmas gift. Especially that it had a personalized dedication inside from Chef Antoine himself.
During this past year I tried many recipes from the book, but the one I want to share with you today is a recipe that several readers have requested. It is The Lebanese Meat Pie or Lahm Bi Aajeen.
- 3 cups all-purpose-flour (+ 3tbsp extra to flour the surface)
- 1 cup / 100g unsalted butter, melted
- 1½ tbsp (7g) instant yeast
- ½ tsp (5g) salt
- ½ cup water
- 350g lamb minced meat (I used beef)
- 100g onion, finely minced
- 2 (300g) tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp (30g) pine nuts
- 2 tbsp (30g) pomegranate molasses (I used Al Wadi Al Akhdar)
- 1 tsp (10g) salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- In a bowl, pour butter over flour, add yeast and salt and mix using your hands or a food processor.
- Add water gradually and knead until the dough is consistent. Cover with a tea towel and let it rest for half an hour.
- In a deep bowl add meat, onion, tomatoes, pine nuts and pomegranate molasses, season with salt, pepper and cinnamon and combine well.
- Flour your work surface and flatten the dough to 5mm (1/3 inch) thickness. Cut in into 10cm circles. You can use a cup if desired or take balls of dough the size of eggs and press each into a round by hand.
- Place the dough on a floured baking tray and spread two tablespoons of meat mixture into the centre of every circle.
- Pinch together the two opposing ends of the circle and then the two opposing other ends, to make square shapes, leaving the top open.
- Heat the oven at 200°C. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until meat is fully cooked and the dough turns crisp and golden.