Sfeehas/Labanese Meat Pies
I love Middle Eastern cuisine, it's simple, easy and full of flavour. After trying my hand at Mandi Chicken and Sheesh Taouk, I was really keen to make these dainty little Safeehas meat pies.
Safeehas or Labanese meat pies are triangular shaped pies made with yeast dough filled with a minced meat filling. These Meat Pies are versitile as they can be served as a main meal, side dish appetizers or snacks depending upon the size in which they are made.
Along with minced meat, tomatoes, spices and pine nuts are also used for extra texture and flavour. Zattar, olives and Labne (dried yogurt) may also be used in addition to the already mentioned ingredients. A common ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking called baharat spice adds a lot of character and flavour to the Sfeehas. It consists of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, coriander and cloves. The pies can be made with raw or cooked mince, I however prefer to use cooked meat for this purpose. As far as the shape for the Sfeehas is concerned it can be diamond, round or square.
These delectable little meat pies are served in a platter alongside condiments like hummus or Greek yogurt. I personally find that they are great as an appetizer or a lunch box option and can be served as a pretty presentation for a high tea party.
Baharat is a spice adds a depth of flavour to these Labaneese meat pies. Grind together 4 teaspoons of balck pepper and cumin with 3 teaspoons each of cloves, coriander nutmeg and 6 teaspoons of paprika also add 3-4 green cardamoms. Grind into a fine powder and preserve in a clean jar for use in Middle Eastern recipes.
|chopped onion||1 medium|
|chopped tomatoes||3 medium|
|olive oil||2 tbsps|
|baharat spice||1 tbsp|
|greek yogurt or strained yogurt||3 tbsps|
|pomegranate molasses||1 tbsp|
|toasted pine nuts||1/4 cup|
|cilantro chopped||2 bunches|
For the dough I am using home-made pizza dough. Click here for the Recipe
Once you knead the dough cover and leave it to rise for 3-4 hours in a warm place.
Sauté onions in olive oil until they are soft add the mince and chopped tomatoes also add the baharat spice, strained yogurt, pomegranate molasses and salt. Cook until the mince is cooked and dry. At this stage you can add the pine nuts. I like to add them before baking. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro and set aside.
Roll out the dough in a circle measuring about 5 cm in diameter.
Place about 2 table spoons of the minced meat mixture and add the roasted pine nuts in the center of the circle. To shape wet the sides bring them together and up over the edges and pinch.
Preheat the oven, place the prepared meat pies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place the tray in the central rack of the oven and bake at 200 degrees C until Sfeehas are light golden in colour.
- 350g pizza dough
- 500g mince beef
- 1 medium chopped onions
- 3 medium chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 tbsp baharat spice
- 3 tbsp Greek yogurt or strained yogurt
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- to taste salt
- 2 bunches cilantro chopped