These savory Lebanese meat pies (known as sfeehas) get their irresistible flavor from clarified ،er, toasted pine nuts, and fragrant cinnamon.
Meat pies are a very popular dish throug،ut the world. Whether it’s empa،as in Spain, patties in Jamaica, or ،s in Eastern Europe, it seems so many different cultures have their own version of a savory pie. In my family, we grew up eating sfeehas, also called ،ayer. It’s a Middle Eastern meat pie that is filled with either meat and pine nuts, spinach, or cheese (such as feta.) Part of the Levantine cuisine, ،ayer is eaten in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. My Lebanese Meat Pies are filled with ground beef and pine nuts, and seasoned with warm ،es.
- Bread dough: If you have a recipe you love, you can easily make your own bread dough. To save time, I usually use store bought pizza dough.
- Pine nuts: A bit ،ery and sweet is flavor, toasting them enhances the taste.
- Ghee: Also called clarified ،er, it has a higher smoke point, making it a favorite for sautéing meats and toasting pine nuts.
- Ground beef: I typically use a ground sir،, but you could also use ground lamb for a more traditional taste.
- Onion: Yellow onion is mild and a bit sweet, making it caramelize quickly.
- Warm ،es: Cinnamon, all،e, and black pepper add wonderful warmth and traditional Lebanese flavor to the meat pies.
- Lemon juice: The bit of acidity you need to cut through and bring balance to the dish.
How to Make Lebanese Meat Pies
S، your Lebanese meat pies by dividing the bread dough and setting it aside. Then s، making the filling by melting some ghee in a large s،et.
Add your pine nuts to the pan and toast until evenly browned. Watch them so they don’t burn, and set aside.
Then in the same pan that still has some clarified ،er, add the diced onion with some salt and pepper and cook until they s، to soften.
Add the ground beef and break up as it browns, about 8 minutes.
Add the cinnamon and all،e, along with some more salt and pepper to taste, and cook until meat is fully browned and onions are soft and caramelized. Turn off the heat, and stir the lemon juice and pine nuts into the meat mixture.
Now that the filling is done, take the dough you had set aside and roll it out into discs about 1/8th of an inch thick, and about 3-4 inches wide. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you could also use a tall gl،.
Then use either a tables، or a cookie dough scoop to put a dollop of the meat filling in the middle of your dough circle.
Then fold your sfeehas into triangles by folding each edge up and pin،g the corners closed until the edges are sealed.
Then lay the meat pies out on a prepared sheet pan, and toss them in the oven at 400 for 15-20 minutes, but dough is golden brown.
When finished, remove from the oven and brush with melted clarified ،er, serve with plain yogurt, and enjoy your Lebanese Meat Pies!
Frequently asked questions
Are sfeehas freezer friendly?
Absolutely! In fact, we like to make them in large quan،ies and store them in the freezer. To reheat, simply bake at 350 until warmed through, about 15-20 minutes. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
What can you serve with sfeehas?
How do you make the dough for a meat pie?
We typically buy store-bought pizza dough to save time, otherwise you’ll need to make large batches of bread dough.
More Lebanese Dishes
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Lebanese Meat Pies (Sfeeha’s)
These savory Lebanese meat pies (known as sfeehas) get their irresistible flavor from clarified ،er, toasted pine nuts and fragrant cinnamon.
Divide dough into small ، and roll to 1/8 inch thick. The rounds s،uld be 3-4 inches wide. Let dough rest 20-30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large ،, brown pine nuts in ghee until golden brown being, careful not to burn. Remove nuts from pan, but leave any remaining ،er. Add ground meat, onions, salt, pepper, cinnamon and all،e to the pan and cook until meat is browned – about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in toasted pine nuts, yogurt, and lemon juice. Let mixture cool slightly.
Place 1 tables، of the filling into the center of each round. (A stainless steel scoop is great for this step.)
To begin folding the dough into a triangle, bring the bottom third up over the meat then bring another third of the dough to the first fold and pinch together to form a tight seal. Fold the final third over and pinch with the first two thirds of the dough to create a tightly pinched triangle. Repeat until you run out of dough.
Place filled triangles on a greased baking sheet (or one lined with a silicone baking sheet) and bake for 15-20 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove from oven and lightly brush with melted clarified ،er. Serve with plain yogurt.
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Calories: 166kcalCarbohydrates: 22.2gProtein: 8.3gFat: 7.9gSaturated Fat: 2.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5.5gC،lesterol: 17.3mgSodium: 343.5mgFiber: 0.3g