lahm b ajeen

Lahm bi Ajeen- Lebanese Meat Pies

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Lahm bi Ajeen is a very popular Lebanese meat pie with lots of flavor. It is basically a flatbread topped with a rich, warm spiced ground beef, tomato and onion mixture. Serve these Lebanese meat pies with yogurt, a simple salad  soup or hummus.  The leftovers are freezer friendly too! 

lahm bi ajeen recipe/ Lebanese meat pies.

Lahm Bi Ajeen Recipe:

Lahm bi Ajeen, also known as lahm b ajeen, lahem bi ajeen or sfeeha, are usually described as Middle Eastern meat pizza. Its is another type of the many Manakish recipes in Middle Eastern cuisine. This type of manakish is topped with spiced beef mixture, some refer to it as “meat in dough”. Other types of manakish include: Spinach Pies, Za’atar Manakish, and Cheese Manakish.

Lahm bi ajeen, however is one of my family’s most favorite types of manakish. Ever. Savory filling. Perfection with each bite. My kids love them in their lunch boxes!

Manakish Dough: 

Making the dough from scratch is simple and puts these meat pies over the top. The homemade dough in this recipe is very good and easy to prepare. The dough recipe is similar to that used in my my zaatar and cheese manakish recipe.  However, if you don’t have the time to prepare homemade dough, you can use ready-made pizza dough or frozen rolls as an alternative. 

The secret ingredients to the best manakish dough is Greek yogurt!

homemade manakish dough

Lahm bi Ajeen Topping: 

The topping of these meat pies is a mixture of ground beef, diced onions, diced tomatoes, ground cinnamon, ground black pepper, ground all spice and salt. I use my food processor to blend my onions and tomatoes, then I mix it all together with the beef and spices. 

lahm bi ajeen mixture

Shaping Lebanese meat pies: 

Lebanese meat pies can be shaped in many different ways, but I find this way easy to make. I form my homemade dough into 14-16 small balls and let them rest on a floured surface covered with kitchen towel for 30 minutes before shaping. 

homemade manakish dough

After resting:

  • Flatten the dough balls on a floured surface into small circles with your fingertips. They will be about 5 inches in diameter.
how to make manakish dough
manakish dough round
  • Press on each one with your fingertips to sculpt little dips for the topping to sit in.
  • Add about 2 tablespoons of the meat topping in the middle of each flattened circle, leave a 1 inch border around.
manakish dough with beef
manakish
  • Fold the one inch border of dough over the meat filling and pinch the edge all around to from a thick border.
lahm bi ajeen
  • Add a few pine nuts to the center of the meat pie ( optional).
  • Arrange meat pies on the greased baking sheet tray.

Storing and Freezing Lebanese Meat Pies: 

If you have any Lahm bi Ajeen leftovers, just pop it in the fridge in an airtight container, it will keep for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven, toaster or microwave. These meat pies are also freezer friendly, store in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating and serving. 

Lahm bi ajeen/ Lebanese sfeeha/ Lebanese meet pies.

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lahm b ajeen

Lebanese Meat Pies- Lahm b Ajeen

Yield: 16 meat pies
Prep Time: 10 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes

Lahm bi Ajeen is a very popular Lebanese meat pie with lots of flavor. It is basically a flatbread stuffed with a perfectly spiced ground beef, tomato and onion mixture. 

Ingredients

For Lahm b Ajeen Dough

  • 4 cups flour Bread
  • 1 cup warm milk ( I heat in microwave for a few seconds)
  • 2  tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp plain yogurt

For Lahm b Ajeen Topping

  • 1 lb grounf beef 
  • 1 large onion- diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes- diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground all spice
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts

Instructions

    To make the dough: 

  1. In a small bowl, combine warm water, sugar and yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes to foam.
  2. In a large mixing bowl with lid, combine flour, salt, warm milk, yogurt and vegetable oil.  Work the mixture with your hands.
  3. Pour in the yeast mixture. Continue hand mixing until soft dough forms. I mix until dough feels elastic, smooth, and no longer sticks  to my hands (If after mixing, the dough is still too sticky for you, you can sprinkle just a tiny bit of flour, or if it won't form add one extra tablespoon of milk at a time).
  4. Shape the whole dough into a big ball.
  5. Cover the dough with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and spread evenly.
  6. Place a piece of seal plastic wrap to cover the ball shaped dough and close with the lid.
  7. Wrap container with a large blanket and leave to rise for about 2-3 hours.
  8. Divide the dough and form into 14-16 small balls.
  9. Arrange on lightly floured surface and sprinkle some flour on top too.
  10. Cover again with a kitchen towel and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.

To Prepare the Topping:

  1. In your food processor, pulse onion, salt and tomato very well.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, add ground beef and spices and mix well with the onion and tomato mixture until well combined.

To Prepare Meat Pies for Baking:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with a lightly greased parchment paper.
  2. Form the meat pies by flattening the dough balls on a floured surface into small circles with your fingertips. They will be about 5 inches in diameter.
  3. Press on each one with your fingertips to sculpt little dips for the topping to sit in.
  4. Add about 2 tablespoons of the beef topping in the middle of each flattened circle, leave a 1 inch border around.
  5. Fold the one inch border of dough over the meat filling and pinch the edge all around to from a thick border.
  6. Add a few pine nuts to the center of the meat pie ( optional).
  7. Arrange meat pies on the greased baking sheet tray.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the dough is slightly browned on bottom and edges.
  9. Serve warm or at room temperature. Keeps well for about a week in tight sealed container.
  10. Enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 201Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 325mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 12g

Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

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