Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Syrian Lamb Pizza

One of my favorite ways to figure out what to have for dinner when I'm doing my weekly meal planning is to peruse my cookbook shelf and pull out a couple cookbooks I haven't used in a few months.  Tonight, I happened upon this recipe from "The Essential Mediterranean" by Nancy Harmon Jenkins.
This "pizza" is unusual, in that you mix raw ground lamb with vegetables and spices, then spread it all over a thinly rolled piece of dough.  You bake it for about 10 minutes, and the lamb cooks while the dough crisps up.  It's a little messy to eat - you can use a knife and fork, or fold it and half and eat it like a taco.  Either way, it's really satisfying, and has a unique flavor somewhat reminiscent of shawarma.

(adapted from The Essential Mediterranean by Nancy Harmon Jenkins)
makes 5 8" pizzas

1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt

Dissolve the yeast in warm water.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flours and salt.  With the dough hook, turn the mixer on medium-low speed and gradually pour in the water-yeast mixture.  Mix for about 5 minutes, adding more flour or water as necessary, until you have a smooth, soft dough that does not stick to the sides of the bowl.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for about one hour.

1/2 cup pine nuts
4 tsp olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes (seeds removed)
1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tsp ground sumac
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp red chile flakes
black pepper
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground lamb

Combine the pine nuts with 1 tsp olive oil in a medium frying pan.  Heat over low, just until the pine nuts are golden brown.  Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Put the remaining oil in the pan and add the onion.  Cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, or until onions are soft but not brown.  Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine the lamb, onion, pine nuts, and all remaining topping ingredients and mix well.  Set aside

Preheat oven to 450 F.
To assemble the pizzas, punch down the dough and knead for a few minutes.  Divide into 5 golf-ball sized pieces.  Working with one piece at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface until you have a very thin 8" disk.  Place on a Silpat-lined baking sheet, and top with 1/5 of the topping.  Be sure to spread it evenly all the way to the edges.  Repeat with remaining pizzas.
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lamb is cooked and dough is beginning to turn golden.  
Remove from the oven and let stand 5 to 10 minutes before eating.


Anonymous said...

OH YUM!!! This is totally a lahmacun pide! A traditional
TOTALLY a fave of mine! Looks so good!!

Angie said...

Thanks for the comment! I'm glad it intrigued you. Maybe I'll adjust it sometime and see what I come up with. If you try this, you'll have to let me know what you change and if it's a greater success than my attempt.

Anonymous said...

This looks easy and delish. It reminds me of a favorite dish my Palestinian fiance's mother makes (she just calls it meat pie). Hers doesn't have as many different flavors, though, so yours sounds amazing!

Maria said...

Great twist on the classic pizza!

That Girl said...

If you served it raw it's be less Mediterranean and more Ethiopian!

Cara said...

This sounds amazing. And don't you know I've been meaning to get my hands on some pomegranite molasses and sumac - two thing that would be new to my kichen.