Sheet Pan Beef with Pomegranate Molasses / Lahmeh bil Seniyeh with Dibis Rumman
Growing up, Fridays were special days for us as the whole family flocked to my grandmother’s house for the big family lunch which always ended up with dinner and was filled with cooking, chatting, playing cards and back gammon and laughing. Of course, with big family lunches come big table spreads of Damascene signature comfort food dishes.
Since my grandmother’s demise, those fun big family Fridays ceased, but were instead replaced with our own small family Friday lunches. On some Fridays, my mother and father would want to take a break from cooking. They would order from my uncle’s restaurant/butcher shop sheet pan beef (Lahmeh bil Seniyeh), a staple Damascene dish. It was ordered with either tahini sauce, or tahini and pomegranate molasses. My uncle had his own spin on it that was sealing the tray with a sheet of pastry allowing the meat to cook in its steam in the open furnace. We would wait anxiously for my father to walk into the house with this big tray filling the house with this salivating aroma. The table would be set and ready with an array of pickles, raw onions, green peppers and a pile of freshly baked Arabic bread; the best part was piercing the dough open and making sure fingers are not burnt from the steam.
This is truly an easy and a lazy day recipe to prepare for the family when you are on the go. Just like my uncle, I have come with my own spin on this dish, and I guarantee that the whole family would love it and any left overs make a great packed school lunch.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
baking: 40 minutes
500 grams ground beef 90% lean
1 small onion
1/4 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon seven spice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chili paste
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon Himalayan salt
For the pomegranate tahini sauce:
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
* Preheat oven to 180 C/ 375 F on fan setting.
* Grate the onion using a manual grater or a food processor.
* In a glass bowl, place the ground beef, grated onion, yogurt, seven spice, black pepper, chili paste, salt and chopped parsley, and mix by hand until all ingredients are well incorporated.
* Spread the beef mix in an oven proof dish and poke with your fingers as seen in the picture. This helps create pockets for the pomegranate tahini sauce to sit in.
* Slice the tomato into discs and lay on top of the beef.
* Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
* Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by mixing the water, tahini and pomegranate molasses well in a pot then bring it to boil on medium heat. Cook until you run a finger on the back of a dipped spoon and it holds its shape.
* Remove the pan from the oven and get rid of 2/3 of the liquid produced by the beef.
* Spread the sauce on top and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
* Serve with bread or steamed rice.
* You can use any variety of minced meat if you like.
* If using totally lean meat the texture of the finished dish will be firmer.
* If you are allergic to dairy add a quarter cup soft tofu.
* The dish can be assembled and frozen in a silicon tray for later use up to 3 months, just thaw and follow the same baking instructions.
Per Serving: 503 Calories; 42g Fat (74.7% calories from fat); 25g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 108mg Cholesterol; 1722mg Sodium.