Lebanese Recipes

Lebanese Recipes - Page 3

Lebanese and Middle Eastern food is wholesome, healthy, and good for you. Made with lots of fresh vegetables and whole grains, you can taste the earth's goodness in every bite. As the Lebanese people immigrated over the centuries, they brought these tasty recipes to east and west, to Europe, Latin America, the United States, and to various parts of the world. Enjoy, and Bon Apetit.

Preserved Spiced Mutton

This is definitely a Lebanese traditional recipe.
Qawwrama is a heavily fatted, spiced preserved meat which is well known in the traditional Lebanese diet. Similar preservation of sheep or mutton is carried out in other Arab countries. It becomes very important for it will keep at least through one winter and often into a second season.

It forms the basis for winter stews, and can be combined with rice or burghul (cracked wheat) as stuffing for various kinds of mahshie or it can be boiled with kishk to make a robust winter porridge. Qawwrama adds flavor and nutrition to fried eggs and it is also relished by many as a spread for bread.

The day set aside each Fall in a Lebanese village for making qawwarma is one of community feasting and festivity. A sheep which has been force-fed and fattened all summer is slaughtered and the women set to work stripping the fat from the carcass and melting it down in a large copper pan called a dist. Next the lean meat is cubed, heavily seasoned with salt and pepper and then fried in the hot fat until well cooked. The fried meat is packed into jars and the fat is poured in around it before the jars are sealed. (The old method of sealing the jars with clay is still used in many places.)

The best meat goes into the qawwrama but much that is edible and flavorful remains on the carcass to form the basis of the day's feasting. One dish that is particularly relished by all the friends and relatives who have been invited for this occasion is kroush mahshieh. It is prepared by stuffing the sheep's intestines with a well seasoned mixture of bits of meat, rice, chickpeas and onions.

A delicacy called ghammeh is prepared from the sheep's stomach. The stomach is cleaned well with salt, soap and water. It is rinsed and finally rubbed with flour and rinsed again several times. The stomach is cut into small squares which are wrapped around a seasoned meat and rice mixture and cooked.

Fatteh. Another popular dish at this feast is put together in a deep dish. A layer of small pieces of toasted bread is spread in the bottom of the dish. Over that is laid the meat and broth mixed with crushed garlic, then laban (yoghurt), melted samneh (ghee), crushed dried mint and roasted pine nuts. This is a flavorful dish.

Hreesi. The sheep's bones lend their flavor to a famous Lebanese dish known as hreesi which is traditionally served at the feast marking Assumption Day ('Id es Saidi) in August, but which is enjoyed any time of year when a sheep is slaughtered. The bones are cooked with large pieces of meat to make a broth. Whole wheat which has been sprinkled with water and then crushed slightly in a mortar is boiled in the broth for many hours until the whole is the consistency of cooked oatmeal. Hreesi is aptly named, for the word means "well cooked".

Broiled Liver

Lebanese Recipe: Cut raw lamb or beef liver into squares and thread onto a skewer with its own fat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil. Eat with anything but laban, say the Lebanese, for the two are not compatible.

Broiled Liver with Garlic

Lebanese Recipe: Crush several garlic cloves with salt. Spread this paste over squares of liver. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper and one teaspoon dried mint. Let stand for 30 minutes. Spear on skewers and broil. Or, pan-fry the liver in butter or other fat. Squeeze a little huice over the liver when serving.

Stuffed Baby Lamb

Lebanese Recipe
1 16-20 Ibs. spring lamb
4 cups ground lamb
5 cups rice, washed and drained
2 cups mixed pistachio, pine nuts and almonds
1 1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. salt (or to taste)
3 cups samneh (or other shortening)

The question of which is better, the meat or the stuffing, has yet to be decided in this case, for both are delicious.

Blanch almonds and pistachios. Slip off their skins. Fry ground meat in smoking hot samneh until no longer pink. Add all the nuts and fry with meat until toasted. Add rice, salt, pepper and water. Stir gently. Cover and cook over low fire until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Meanwhile, prepare lamb by rubbing it inside and out with salt and pepper. Correct the seasoning of stuffing and when it is cool, stuff the lamb with it. Sew the opening with heavy thread. Tie feet together in pairs. Boil the stuffed lamb in a large kettle with enough water to cover well. Skim.

When done, the meat will feel soft and tender when pressed between the fingers. This will take several hours. Remove lamb from water and place in a large roasting pan. Coat with samneh or butter and laban for a nice glaze. Roast in moderate oven until nicely browned, basting frequently with its own broth. Serve on a large platter garnishing with parsley. Pass laban and gravy made with the pan drippings, thickened with flour and water. Fresh salad and vegetables cooked in oil are usually served with qouzi.

Stuffed Neck of Lamb

Lebanese Recipe
1 neck of lamb
1 1/2 cups ground beef or lamb
3/4 cup rice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped tomato (optional)
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 small cinnamon stick
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 cups water

Have butcher slit the lamb's neck so that it can be stuffed. Wash and drain rice. Mix together well the chopped meat, rice, seasonings, pine nuts and chopped tomato. Bind with half cup water. Stuff mixture into neck cavity and sew up with heavy thread. Place in pan with enough salted water to cover. Bring to boil and skim. The meat may now be placed in the pressure cooker with three cups of water and cooked under pressure for 45 minutes, or it may be stewed gently for several hours in the kettle. When tender, remove meal from broth. Cook an additional half cup rice in the broth to make a soup to be served as a first course. Spread the boiled meat with samneh and brown in a moderate oven. Slice and arrange on a serving platter. Serve with a side dish of laban. The rice soup will be served before the meat, with chopped parsley and cinnamon sprinkled over it. The stuffing may be removed from the neck and served separately.

The raqbeh could be served either way : -
1) Only stuffed and boiled is the Lebanese way and served with the soup, or
2) Boiled and browned in the Syrian way.


Roast Stuffed Kid (Baby Lamb)

Saudi Arabian Recipe
1 15 lb. kid or baby lamb
4 cups cooked rice
2 cups chopped pistachio nuts
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 1/2 cups sultana raisins
1 cup ghee or clarified butter
2 cups sliced onions
3 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. kizbara (coriander)
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
1 tsp. candied ginger, ground

Stuffed kid or baby lamb or sheep is so typical of Saudi Arabian food that no feast, whether a royal affair or a family gathering, will be without it. The meat, surrounded by masses of rice and garnished with hard boiled eggs, is presented to the gathering on a huge tray.

The following recipe is adapted to modern cooking devices. It might be cooked most successfully at an outdoor barbecue, although with careful attention and constant basting, the meat can be satisfactorily roasted in the oven. The seasonings which are listed are authentic and all must be used to achieve the correct flavor.

Have butcher prepare kid (baby lamb) for roasting. Rinse inside and out. Wipe dry. Rub carcass both inside and out with mixture of 1/2 a cup of the onions and the seasonings. Mix rice with nuts, raisins, 1 1/2 cups onions, and stuff the animal. Sew the opening. Put the stuffed kid in a large pan. Pour melted fat over it and roast in a slow oven until meat is very tender and outside well browned. Baste frequently with pan drippings. Or, roast outdoors on a rotisserie over charcoal for best flavor.

More Authentic Lebanese Recipes - several pages. Click here for Page 1 |  Pg 2 |  Pg 3 |  Pg 4 |  Pg 5 |  Pg 6 |  Pg 7 |  Pg 8 |  Pg 9 | 

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Thank you to everyone who contributed recipes and photos in the past years to help us share Lebanon's beauty with the world and to help perpetuate the Lebanese culture across the globe. Thank you especially to Aunt Maheeba's friend (sorry I forgot her name) who was originally from Saghbine (Lebanon) but who lived in Brooklyn and gave me many of these authentic recipes that she had saved from the old country. She shared them with all the young Lebanese wives who grew up here in the United States and did not have access to authnetic Lebanese recipes or training in Lebanese cooking "the right way". May she rest in peace.
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