Tag Archives: ground beef

Middle Eastern Flatbread Pizza

Ok, hold your panties for this one folks (and sorry to all of my many friends who have a problem with the word “panties” – just pretend it didn’t happen).  This one is a middle east platter with flatbread for a plate.  You just eat away until you get to the table top and then lick it clean.  Kidding – use a plate, nasty.  But I do give you permission to lick the plate clean.  Fo sho.

This simple pizza is a riff off of the Lebanese treat, manaeesh, that’s like a pizza with ground meat and sumac.  If you haven’t tried ground sumac before, it’s certainly worth a go – it’s very slightly smoky and earthy, and can be used in lamb and beef dishes for absolute fabulousness.  Rather than marinara and sausage, you’ve got hummus and delicately spiced ground beef.  Mozzarella meets the melty craving and feta adds salty goodness.  Top it all off with cool, lemony tabouleh (which you can buy or make for yourself) and you are in business.  It’s ah-MAY-zing.  And oh so easy to prep for some random guests who decide to pop in.  Because you know those good friends of yours are total randoms.  It’s all good, though.  They always bring good booze, so certainly feed them for their generosity.

Recipe for

Middle Eastern Flatbread Pizza

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sumac
pinch of allspice
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 c. of hummus
1/2 c. of tabouleh
2-3 tbs. of crumbled feta
1/2 c. of mozzarella cheese
2 large flatbreads (pita, naan or even 1 large piece of Afghan bread)

Begin by sauteeing the ground beef until no longer pink.  Drain and return pan to heat.  Mix in the salt, sumac, allspice, thyme and black pepper.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450°.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or use a pizza stone) and put your flatbread on top.  Spread the hummus on each of the flat breads and top with the ground beef.  Crumble the feta on top and sprinkle the mozzarella over that.  Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Remove from the oven and let hang out for 3-4 minutes.  Sprinkle the tabouleh on top and cut into wedges.  Serve.


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Savory Meat Pie

From empanadas to pasties to pastel, the world loves a good meat pie.  This version, though similar in construction to the French Canadian tourtiere, is all its own – a hearty blend of meat, vegetables and spices that produce a pie that looks gourmet.  And yet, it only takes a few minutes of actual work – the meat becomes meltingly tender from simmering in milk and wine for a little under an hour, which you can leave bubbling away while you take care of other things.  Not a bad deal at all.

I use all beef in this version, but the pie holds up to absolutely any type of protein or game.  Pork works exceedingly well, as does bison or buffalo.  Venison, too.  You can even make a blend of what you’ve got on hand – ground turkey would be exceedingly happy in this pie when combined with beef or pork.  When you seal up the pie, you brush it with a simple egg wash to elevate store-bought pie crust to photo-worthy culinary majesty.  Truly, it’s a couple of little tricks that make this pie something worth keeping on hand for a rainy day.  Comfort food at its best 🙂

Recipe for

Savory Meat Pie

2 lbs. of ground beef
1 onion
1 stalk of celery
1 clove of garlic
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme

1 tbs. of worcestershire sauce
2 tbs. of ketchup
1/4 tsp. of allspice
1/8 tsp. of cloves
1 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of white pepper
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
1/2 tsp. of dried sage

2 c. of milk
1/2 c. of dry white wine

1 c. of bread crumbs
3 eggs
1 tbs. of milk or cream
2 pie crusts (can be store bought)

In a dutch oven, brown the beef (or ground meat of your choosing).  When it’s no longer pink, add the onion, celery and garlic and stir.  Add the bay leaf and thyme and let cook until the vegetables start to release liquid, which should take about a minute.  Add the worcestershire sauce, ketchup, allspice, cloves, salt, white pepper, black pepper and sage and stir.  Pour in the milk and white wine and let simmer away on medium heat until all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 45-60 minutes.

Take the meat off the heat and let cool slightly.  Stir in the cup of breadcrumbs and let sit while you prepare the pie crust.

In a 9 inch round cake pan that’s at least 3 inches high (this is a deep crust pie) and grease with cooking spray.  Press one of the crusts on the bottom and sides of the pan.  Tear a slight bit of crust off the second pie crust and press into the pan so that there is more dough to cover the entire pie pan.  If you have slight tears, mend them by easing the dough together to repair.  Take your meat mixture and stir in two of the eggs.  Pour the meat into the pie crust.  Top with the second pie crust and crimp the edges.  In a small bowl, beat together the remaining egg with the milk or cream.  Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the pie with the egg wash.

Bake in a 375° for 25 minutes or until the top is gloriously golden.  Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.