Lebanese Meat Pies

Lahmajun or Lahm bi ajeen

Someone joined #Lebanese channel on Undernet and asked for this specifically. So I had to ask around for the exact recipe for this dish. Depending on what part of the country you hear about it depends on what its called. Some parts of Lebanon refer to it as Lahm bi Ajeen while others call it Lahmajun, which by the way is the Armenian way of saying it. After hearing the ingredients for this recipe I was set out to make it myself. Not only did the recipe sound delicious but it looked really simple to make. 

From what I was told by a good friend when in Lebanon you can find many Lebanese bakeries that are called “furen,” Arabic for “oven.” Such bakeries are flocked by Lebanese peeps mostly for a nice breakfast of flat bread pies, or mini “pizzas” baked with any of the following toppings: ground beef,  Zaatar (thyme mix), Cheese, Labneh (dried yogurt), deli cold cuts or a creative mixture of such and other ingredients like olives, tomatoes, mint etc. 

If you are pressed for time or you just want to take the lazy route you can use pre-made flat bread, tortilla or even thin-crust pizza dough. So let’s get to the actual recipe:

Ingredients

Meat Topping Ingredients (5 servings)
  • 1 lbs lean ground beef (no fat)
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 1 large ripe tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
  • ½ cup of finely chopped Parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of 7-spices
  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt
  • a dash of cayenne pepper (or to taste)
Dough Ingredients
  • 6 cups of multi purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon of yeast melted
  • 2 and ¼th cups of warm water
  • 1 and ¼th teaspoon of salt

Instructions

Dough Preparation Method
  1. To save time, you could substitute with fresh thin-crust pizza dough. But if you’re more adventurous, here’s how to make this simple dough from scratch.
  2. Melt the yeast in ½ cup of warm water along with a tiny bit of sugar (1/8th of a teaspoon)
  3. Add all dough ingredients to your food processor, and let it knead for a few minutes until you get a dough. Alternatively, you could also knead by hand by mixing all ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes as you now prepare the meat fillings.
Baking the Pies
  1. Preheat oven to 500-520 degrees F
  2. Once dough is ready, make it into rounds of 8 inches in diameter and ⅓ inch thick
  3. Place dough on baking tray that has had some flour sprinkled on
  4. Spread 3-4 tablespoons of meat topping evenly on every dough
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes or until dough turns a bit golden. You could also end it with a 2-minute broil on High.

 

Notes

I was told the traditional way of eating this was by adding some fresh lemon juice after baking and folding it in half. You don’t want to add too much lemon juice but enough to taste the flavoring.