potato kibbeh in a casserole

Lebanese Shepherd’s Pie- Batata bil Sanieh

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The epitome of simple, homey comfort food, Lebanese Shepherds Pie is a casserole consisting of a perfectly cooked, spiced mixture of ground beef between two layers of creamy mashed potatoes, topped with breadcrumbs and baked to perfection!

Lebanese Shepherd's pie

Lebanese Shepherd’s Pie – batata bil sanieh

This casserole dish is the Lebanese version of Shepherd’s Pie. It is also known batata souffle or batata bil sanieh in Arabic, where “batata” translates to “potato” and “bil saneieh” translates to “in a tray”. Lebanese Shepherd’s Pie is made with a layer of ground beef, onions and nuts , spread between two layers of mashed potatoes and topped with breadcrumbs. The filling mixture is called “Hashweh”, the same mixture I use in my Kibbeh Bil Sanieh-Baked Kibbeh.

Lebanese mashed potato casserole

What You’ll Need to Make Lebanese Shepherd’s Pie:

  • Potatoes — Pick the best potato possible, I always use Yukon golds or Russet potatoes.
  • Salted water for boiling — not adding salt to the water will yield bland tasting potatoes.
  • Softened unsalted butter — using unsalted ensures you have full control of how salty your mash comes out.
  • Milk —if you want your mash to be really creamy then it’s full-fat all the way.
  • Breadcrumbs For a crunchy topping.
  • Ground beef — 85 % lean.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Onions — Diced.
  • Salt and spices —Black pepper, all spice and cinnamon.
  • Nuts — Such as walnuts and pine nuts.
  • Pomegranate molasses — If available, it adds a dash of tanginess to the beef mixture, substitute for a squeeze of lemon juice.
batata bil sanieh

COOK THE BEEF MIXTURE- HASHWEH:

  • Cook the onions with olive oil until softened and lightly golden.
  • Add the ground beef, salt and spices and cook with the onions until browned and cooked through.
  • Fold in chopped walnuts, toasted pine nuts, if you’re using them, and pomegranate molasses.
  • Set aside.

Make the Mashed Potatoes:

  • Boil the potatoes, wash and peel the potatoes then cut them into quarters (to ensure they cook evenly), cover with water and a very generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until JUST fork-tender. Try not to over cook too much as they can become quite sticky when overcooked.
  • Drain and dry the potatoes, once you’ve drained the cooked potatoes, put them back on a medium heat and dry them out for about 2 minutes.
  • Add milk and butter, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth, adding a little extra milk if needed.

Assemble:

  • Preheat oven to 375 °F and lightly spray a large rectangular baking tray (11 x 8). I used a 9 inch oval tray, but I feel like those are harder to find. Either is fine 🙂
  • Divide mashed into two even halves. Each half will make a layer.
  • Moisten your hands a little with water and spread the first layer of mashed potatoes, by flattening it across the tray to form a smooth layer.
  • Add a layer of the beef mixture- spread it across the mashed potato layer and press it down with a spoon.
  • Add the last and top layer of the other half of mashed potatoes, also by flattening it until forming a smooth layer.
how to make Lebanese Shepherd's Pie
  • Sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs and bake until golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.
shepherd's pie with breadcrumbs
  • Serve with with salad and enjoy!
Lebanese Shepherd's pie

What to Serve with Batata bil Sanieh:

A simple green salad such as Lebanese Fattoush Salad, or Tabbouleh Salad is my favorite. Some people also serve it with hot sauce.

How to Store Lebanese Shepherd’s Pie:

  • Once the potato souffle has cooled completely, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • This can also be frozen. To do this, place in a freezer safe container, it should keep well for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat, let defrost in refrigerator and either place in oven on low temperature until heated through or scoop out servings and heat in the microwave.

How to Make Batata Souffle:

kibbeh with potato

Lebanese Shepherd's Pie- Batata bil Sanieh

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
The epitome of simple, homey comfort food, this Lebanese Shepherd's Pie is a casserole consisting of perfectly spiced and cooked mixture of ground beef that sits between two layers of creamy mashed potatoes, topped with breadcrumbs and baked to perfection!

Ingredients

For the mashed potatoes

  • 2 lb potatoes (about 8)- washed, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt- plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk

For Beef filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb 85 % lean ground beef
  • 1 large onions, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts – coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts- slightly toasted if using.
  • 2 tablespoons Pomegranate Molasses

For batata topping

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs or plain bread crumbs

Instructions

    Make the batata souffle filling:

  1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the chopped onions and salt- cook until wilted stirring frequently (around 10 mins).
  2. Add the ground beef, salt and spices and mix with the cooked onion- constantly stir to break up the clumps of meat.
  3. Cook until meat is browned, then lower heat to medium- low and let cook for another 10 mins.
  4. Fold in chopped walnuts, slightly toasted pine nuts (if using) and pomegranate molasses and mix well. cook for additional 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and set the beef filling aside.


Make the Mashed Potato:

  1. Add the quartered potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Add a good pinch of salt.
  2. Bring water to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until JUST fork-tender. (about 15 minutes).
  3. Then drain the potatoes in a colander and return them to the pot. Cover the potatoes then let them steam over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Give the pan a good shake.
  4. Add milk and butter, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until smooth, adding a little extra milk if needed. The consistency should be creamy, rather than watery.
  5. Taste and adjust salt if needed.


Assemble and bake the casserole:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F and lightly spray a rectangular baking tray (11 x 8).
  2. Divide mashed into two even halves. Each half will make a layer.
  3. Moisten your hands a little with water and spread the first layer of mashed potatoes, by flattening it across the tray to form a smooth layer.
  4. Add a layer of the beef mixture- spread it across the mashed potato layer and press it down with a spoon.
  5. Add the last and top layer of the other half of mashed potatoes, also by flattening it until forming a smooth layer.
  6. Sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs and bake until golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving,
  8. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 399Total Fat: 125gSaturated Fat: 48gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 40gCholesterol: 420mgSodium: 180mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 263g

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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