Lahmacun

You could call this an open meat pie, or a lamb tart, or simply the Turkish version of the pizza. You have to think a little ahead, of course, as you will have to leave the dough for at least 1 to 1 ½ hours to rise, but otherwise it is simple. The topping as listed below is sufficient for 2 pies, so either make double the amount of dough and make 2 pies [enough for 4 people], or put half the topping in a container and pop it in the freezer for another time and make 1 pie [enough, with a side salad, for 2 people].

Ingredients 1: The base.
1 tsp baker’s yeast.
1/3 cup warm water.
2 tblsp sesame oil.
1 cups plain flour.
Dash salt.

Ingredients 2: The Topping.
1 tblsp olive oil.
25g butter.
1 medium onion, finely chopped.
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped.
2 ripe tomatoes, hulled and chopped.
1 tblsp tomato paste.
250g lamb mince.
1 tsp sumac.
1 tsp paprika.
¼ tsp white pepper.
Salt
¼ cup chopped parsley.
Lemon juice.
Chopped mint.

Preparation.
Firstly, the base. Stir the yeast into the warm water and leave for 2-3 minutes or until it starts to bubble. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl, mix together, then form a well in the middle and add the yeasty water and the sesame oil. Stir together with a fork, then knead for 5-6 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover and leave in a warm place until the dough has grown to twice its size.

Next, the topping. Heat the oil and butter together over a hot flame and stir fry the onion, garlic and tomato until soft. Continue to cook until the juices are reduced by half then remove from the heat and stir in the meat, spices and parsley. Knead together well and set aside for an hour.

Method.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Punch down the dough and form it into a ball. Flatten the ball out into a broad disk and place onto an oiled 200mm pizza pan. Smear the meat mixture over it and bake for 15 minutes. Serve with a crisp green salad.

Serves: 2.

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