Sfeeha - Lebanese-style Meat Pies
June 17, 2017
"The epitome of Lebanese comfort food! Don't let the ingredient list intimidate you - most of it is spices. Just prep the spices first, and the rest of the recipe goes much quicker. Makes about 40 Sfeeha's."
- FOR THE DOUGH
- FOR THE FILLING
- Serving Size: 1 (178.9 g)
- Calories 478
- Total Fat - 26.3 g
- Saturated Fat - 7.1 g
- Cholesterol - 35.1 mg
- Sodium - 722.8 mg
- Total Carbohydrate - 46.3 g
- Dietary Fiber - 2.8 g
- Sugars - 6.2 g
- Protein - 14.8 g
- Calcium - 127.1 mg
- Iron - 2.8 mg
- Vitamin C - 7 mg
- Thiamin - 0.6 mg
PREPARE THE DOUGH FIRST
In a small bowl, pour 2 ounces of warm (110F) water and add two teaspoons of dry yeast; add two teaspoons of sugar and mix well to combine; let the yeast bubble up in a warm and enclosed place.
Meanwhile, place the flour, baking powder, salt and powdered milk in the food processor bowl. Process to combine well; add 1/4 cup of olive oil and process for one or two minutes until the mixture looks very sandy.
Add the proofed yeast mixture along with another 3/4 cup of warm water (add the water gradually); when the dough leaves the sides of the bowl it is ready and you can transfer it to a greased bowl and turn it around to coat it with oil and let it sit in a warm enclosed place to rise for a couple of hours until doubled in size. (I like to place the dough in the oven).
PREPARE THE MEAT MIXTURE
Chop the onion as fine as possible and sprinkle with the salt, allspice, sumac and a dash of cinnamon. Place the chopped onion on a sieve and let its waters come out.
In the meantime, place the meat in a bowl and add the black pepper, cayenne pepper, red pepper paste and tomato paste. Mix. Add to the meat the chopped parsley leaves, pomegranate molasses, tahini, labneh, crushed garlic and the drained onion. Adjust seasoning based on your personal preference.
Fry the pine nuts in butter and add to the meat mixture. Cover the meat mixture and set it in the fridge till the dough is ready.
MAKING THE SFEEHAS
Prepare two cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 500 F.
Punch the dough down to remove all the air pockets; roll into a large circle, about 1/8 inch thick.
Cut rounds with a cookie cutter and on each round place a generous amount of filling (about 2 tablespoons). Pinch two opposing sides of the circle and then the two opposing other sides, making a square pocket of sorts. Make sure the pinched ends seal tightly, using a bit of water if necessary. Take the back of a spoon and carefully/gently press on the filling to enclose it within the pocket. Place the pies on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for about 10 minutes until the pies are golden and the meat is cooked. Serve warm or at room temperature with some yogurt salad, if desired.
NOTE: some people have a problem with the dough shrinking up on them after cutting the circles. The author suggests: the flour may be the reason; if you can get ahold of a flour called flour 00, try it; it is used a lot in Lebanon and it is very soft and good for these types of pastries. Otherwise, try mixing some cake flour with the all-purpose or bread flour as it has less gluten.
Tips & Variations
No special items needed.