Sheet pan beef with Tomato
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 or tomatoes. 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.
This is truly an easy and a lazy day recipe to prepare for the family when you are on the go, it is not the healthies as you end up eating too much red meat but, moderation in your diet is key. 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
1 kg ground beef 90% lean
1 red pepper
5 garlic cloves
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoon tomato paste
1 ½ tablespoon Himalayan salt
2 tomatoes for decoration
1 red pepper for decoration
* Preheat oven to 180 C/ 375 F on fan setting.
* Deseed the tomato and finely chop it alongside the onion, red pepper, garlic and fresh coriander.
* In a glass bowl, place the ground beef along with the spices and salt then add the chopped vegetables and the tomato paste, and mix by hand until all ingredients are well incorporated.
* Oil a baking sheet and spread the beef mix and flatten it evenly.
* Quarter the two tomatoes and the red peppers and lay on top of the beef alternating between them.
* Bake uncovered on the middle shelf of the oven for 35 to 45 minutes.
* Serve with bread or steamed rice, and for a healthy option a bowl of salad.
* 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.
* The dish can be assembled and frozen in a freezer safe tray for later use up to 3 months, just thaw and follow the same baking instructions.
Per Serving: 708 Calories; 57g Fat (71.8% calories from fat); 36g Protein; 14g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 170mg Cholesterol; 2150mg Sodium.