Archive for the ‘Red Meat’ Category

This is, by far to me, my mother’s favorite dish. It combines Chinese stir fry, with Adeni flavors. Simple, easy and delicious.

Alright , you will need [for two, maximum three]:

1) one medium onion, finely sliced

2) a half pound sirloin tip steak–cut into thin strips

3) 2-3 dried red chilly pepper, cut into thick strips

4) 4 garlic finely minced

5) Salt to taste

6) 1/2 tsp of fresh ground pepper

7) 1/4 cup of olive oil

8 ) 1/4 tsp of corn starch [optional]

9) 3 tblsp of liquidized red chilly peppers [usually I soak them overnight, and then blend them with a little water and garlic, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator]

Let’s start:

First, fry the beef in a frying pan in the oil, until they are browned. Take out once browned onto a paper towel. Here they are chilling out   . Salt them lightly.

Now back to the frying pan, you should have some oil left, if not add a little more. Add the liquidized red chilly’s, garlic, black pepper to the oil and sautee well for a few minutes like so. Then add the dried chilly peppers,and let sautee some more. Add the onions, and let cook for a few minutes–I like them a little crunchy so I don’t cook them that much. Add  the fried beef, and cornstarch melted in a 1/4 cup of water. Salt and let cook under medium heat for a few minutes.  Serve on a bed of white rice, and with some cool yogurt. Enjoy!

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This biryani is one of my favorites –my guests loved it too. For six people you will need:

1) 4 pounds of lamb–cut into medium sized pieces.

2) 3 medium onions thinly sliced

3) 5 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered

4) 4 tblsp of Oilive oil

5) 1 tsp of minced garlic

6) 1tsp of minced ginger

7) optional 1-2 green chilly peppers–cut lengthwise

8 ) 2 medium tomatoes finely diced

9) 3 tblsp of chopped cilantro, the more the merrier–for garnish

10) 2 tbslp of yogurt [plain–whole or fat free]

11) Shan Mutton Biryani mix [can buy at your local Indian or Middle Eastern store].

12) A few threads of Saffron

13) 3 cups of rice–half boiled.

Boil the meat in water–you can add a bay leaf to it if you like–until almost tender. In a deep pan add the oil, and once warn sautee the onions until golden brown. Then add the potatoes and let cook for 2 minutes. Add the lamb, 2 tblsp of the Shan mix spice, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, green chilly pepper, yogurt, and 1 tblsp of the cilantro. Let the flavors blend under medium heat for about 5 minutes. Then add a cup and a half of water, and let simmer for another 3 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Place in an  oven dish, big enough for the sauce and the rice. Place the sauce at the bottom, layer the rice on top, sprinkle with the saffron and about 1/4 cup of water.  Cover well with foil, and place in oven for 20-30 minutes when the rice is cooked through. Garnish with the rest of the cilantro and serve with yogurt and cucumber salad, chutney [blend a tomato, green chilly pepper, 3 tblsp of cilantro, lemon juice and salt] and a green salad.


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Mandee is  one of those Yemeni recipes that can be made in a variety of way–this is just one of them. I’ll post them on my blog as I make them. You can make it with either chicken or lamb. There are restaurants all over the Arab and western world [we may have some in the states in Detroit/Michigaon] that are famous for their Yemeni Mandee, but if you don’t have one in your area don’t worry. You can make it at home.  Usually, in Yemen, this is made outside in the open air, in which a hole is dug in the ground on a bed of lighted natural coal, and the meat comes out looking, smelling and tasting unimaginably delicious.  We’re just two people–my husband and I– so the quantity as you see is small. But you can double, tripe or quadruple the quantity.

You will need:

1) 1/3rd of a leg of lamb–I asked my butcher to cut a leg of lamb into three parts and used the bottom part closest to the foot. Any nice looking piece works, but it has to be a little fatty. You can use a whole lamb as well if you like–as they do in Yemen–and usually they use one a couple of months old or so. Plus you want the bone in for flavor.

2) 1 cup of Basmati rice, washed and soaked for no more than 30 minutes or so.  Depending on the kind of rice you are using, you may end up soaking it too much and it might end up getting all mushy after you cook it. So, if you are not sure about this, then don’t soak it AT ALL, but do wash it until the water comes out clear.

3) 1 medium onion roughly chopped. Try and keep the peel of the onion aside, as you will need it to hold the lighted coal.

4) a few peppercorns (4-5)

5) 2 sticks of cinnamon

6) 1-2 dry lemons–optional, and make sure you poke it with a knife for the flavors to come out during cooking

7) 3 small grains of mastic–you can get this from Mediterranean stores, but remember to tell them not to give you the chewing kind.

8 ) 3 tblsp of ghee–you can use Olive oil if you don’t like the taste of ghee. But this makes it very aromatic.

9) Saffron (two pinches)–the best is the Iranian but it’s also very expensive, so if the Spanish fits your budget go for it. Make sure to soaked it in a little water–just enough to cover it. Optional: some also soak it in Orange Blossom Water –also available in any Middle Eastern store.

10) A small piece of natural coal–not the kind that is filled with chemicals for it to light. You can leave this part out, although it makes the dish very aromatic.

11) Salt to taste

12) Piece of foil–big enough to wrap the meat in.

13) 1 tsp of oil–any vegetable or Canola oil .

So, let’s start. In a pot, big enough to hold the meat, place the meat and add water enough to cover the meat entirely. Then place on high heat and  let boil. Remove the froth that collects on the surface, and keep on doing that until it stops. Now time to add the onion, some peppercorns, 2 grains of mastic and 1 cinnamon stick. Let boil until meat is tender. You can also use a pressure cooker if you like.

When the meat is cooked through–but still holds its shape. Remove the meat, and sieve the water. Keep the water, don’t throw it out, you will use some of it to cook the rice in.

Turn the broiler on, and place in the meat in the foil–drizzle with half of the ghee and half of the saffron. Also sprinkle with salt, and then wrap up in the foil and leave in the broiler to cook some more–about 30 minutes or the time it takes to cook the rice.

Now for the rice, add half of the ghee–about 1/2 tblsp– rest of the peppercorns, cinnamon stick and dry lemon and sautee a little. Add the rice, and fry for about a minute or so. Then add enough water to cover the rice, and place on low heat an cover and let cook. In the meantime, light the coal (I just leave it on a lighted stove top). When the rice has soaked up almost all of the water–add the rest of the saffron and drizzle the rest of the ghee and let cook some more until the rice is completely cooked through. Now to deal with the meat in the broiler. Open the foil, and let it brown on each side Once the rice is done, be careful it does not burn. Once it is well browned on all sides, and the rice is done. Place the meat on top of the rice.

This part is optional–make a little holder for the coal with the onion peel. Place in the pot and carefully place the coal on the onion peel, and  then add the 1tsp of oil and cover the pot immediately. Once the cloudiness dissipates. Open the cover and serve immediately.

For more photos of the dish click here: 

And here’s another one: 


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Meatballs in Red Sauce

This was my first attempt at meatballs in red sauce after a recommendation from my best friend Iqbal.  It turned out pretty good. My husband loved it, and he hates ground beef. So, now I know how to make him eat it.

1) 1 pound of ground lamb or beef

2) freshly ground pepper

3) salt to taste

4) 1 tblsp of ground oregano

5) 3 ripe big tomatoes-peeled and finely minced

6)1/2 small can of tomato paste–more if you like.

7) 2 tblsp finely chopped cilantro

8 ) 4 cloves of garlic finely minced

9) optional–green chilly pepper sliced horizontally for flavor

10) 4 tblsp of olive oil

11) medium onion diced

Combine the ground meat, with 3 gloves of minced garlic, 1tblsp of oregano, salt, pepper, and 1 tblsp of olive oil. Roll into balls–about the size of a quarter–and lap on a baking sheet and bake at a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Don’t bake them more than 15 minutes of else they will get hard. Note: you can fry them as well if you like, but I prefer baked to fried.

In the meantime, while the meatballs are baking, make the sauce. In a pot, under medium heat, add the rest of the olive oil and brown the onions. Add the garlic and sautee  a little. Then add the peeled and diced tomatoes and salt and let cook until the tomatoes are softened. Then add the tomato paste, pepper and add 2-3 glasses of water, depending on how  thick you want the sauce to be. Let simmer, and once it starts bubbling add the meat balls and let simmer until the oil rises to the surface. Turn off and garnish with the cilantro. Serve either on a bed of white rice, angel hair pasta, or bread.

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This is a fast and easy dish cooked in the oven for the most part. Serve with bread or rice. You will need:

1) 1 bag of frozen okra (about a pound) [I get mine from the Middle Eastern store because theirs are small and the tips has been peeled as if with a carving knife]

2)  1 lb of lamb, bone , cut into medium size pieces

3) 5tbls Olive oil

4) 1tsp of ground cumin

5) 1 cup chopped and peeled tomatoes

6) 4 tblsp of tomato paste

7) 1/cu of water

8 ) salt to taste

9) 1/8 of tsp freshly ground pepper

10) 3 tlsp of finely chopped cilantro

11) 1/2 tsp of chilly powder

12) medium sized onion diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a pot under medium heat, add 2 tblsp of the oil. Once it heats up brown the meat on all sides. You do not want it to cook through, just browned on each side. Take out and place in a casserole dish. Reduce heat, and add the onion and fry until browned. Add the cumin, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and water and stir well. Once it starts simmering turn off and add on top of meat, sprinkle black pepper, cover with foil, and place in oven for an hour and a half.

After an hour and a half, take the okra, place in a pot and add the rest of the olive oil. Fry for about 3 minutes under medium to high heat. Add onto the meat and sauce, cover and place back in the oven for another half an hour. Place a frying pan  under medium heat and add the rest of the olive oil, cilantro and chilly powder. Fry for a couple of minutes and sprinkle on top of the dish and serve hot with either rice or bread.

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(for a larger view of the picture, click on picture and enlarge)

Sister Fatma taught us how to make this yesterday (September 19th, 2010) when Sister Aida, and her daughters Sedika, Zakya, Khadeega  and I went to spend a late Eid lunch at her place. It was delicious and very easy to make. You will need:

1)      ½ cup of oil  (Olive Oil or Canola—whichever you prefer)

2)      1 big onion—thick slices

3)      3  pounds of veal cut into medium sizes (you may use lamb as well)

4)      1 6oz. can of tomato paste

5)      Salt (to taste)

6)      ½ tsp of black pepper

7)      5 cloves minced

8)      1tsp of paprika (usually cayenne pepper is used, but paprika is a substitute if you can’t tolerate the heat of the cayenne—another option is to use ½ tsp of paprika and half of cayenne)

9)      1tsp of Tawabel (Tunisian spice mix—consists of ground caraway, coriander and garlic powder)

10)    4 big carrots—peeled and cut into halves.

11)   5 zucchini ( washed with ends cut of—if small leave as is, if big cut into half)

12)  1 can of chick peas, drained and washed

13)   1kg of couscous (medium)

Mix all the first six ingredients in a big pot. Place on medium high heat for 20-30 min. When it starts to boil, add boiling water to the mixture to cover. Then cover and let cook for 30 minutes.

Then add the paprika (or cayenne), Tunisian tawabel and cover and let cook for another 30 min.  Add the carrots, cover and cook for another 30 min. When the carrots are cooked through but still maintain their shape, add the zucchini and cook for another 30 min.  It is ready. All you need to make now is the couscous.

Fatma’s was the easiest and quickest method for making couscous. You will need a couscous pot of course. Fill the bottom pot with water and let boil, once it comes to a rolling boil place the 1 kg of couscous in the top part (that has holes) and attach it to the bottom pot. Cover the top, and let steam for 20 minutes. After twenty minutes, sprinkle about ¼ cup of hot water on the couscous and run a form through it, and let steam again for 15 minutes.

To serve, spoon out the meat and vegetable onto a serving platter. Pour just enough sauce onto the couscous to turn it into a nice reddish in color–be careful not to soak it. In another bowl mix some sauce in with the chick peas. Any leftover sauce, place in a serving bowl for those who want to spoon over their couscous.

Optional: Fry some Anaheim peppers with salt. Wash, slit the sides, salt, and fry. They are a delicious accompaniment to this dish.

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You will be pleasantly surprised at how similar this tastes to the shawarma (gyros) that is sold in our local restaurants. Mix the following together :

1) 3/4 of a cup of ground beef or lamb

2) 1 clove of garlic, finely minced

3) 1/2 tsp of dried oregano

4) Sprinkle of fresh cracked pepper

5) Salt to taste

6) Plastic wrap

7) 2 pita pockets

8) lettuce, sliced tomatoes and onions (if desired)

For the cucumber sauce, mix the following:

1) ) grate 1/4 of an English cucumber

2)  1 cup of either sour cream or youghurt

3) 1 tsp of vinegar

4) salt to taste

5) sprinkle of dried mint

7) sprinkle of fresh ground pepper

Let’s  make the shawarma meat:

Take the meat mixture, from above, and place in between a folded plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, roll it out as thin as desired. I like mine rather thin.

Place in the freezer for about half an hour. It should be completely frozen.

Remove the plastic wrap–and with a scissors cut into strips.

I use the kitchen scissors to cut them into strips. Then place them either in a frying pan–without any oil, they will excrete some on their own– or place under the broiler.They take no more than 5 min to cook. Take them out, and cut them into smaller pieces and assemble your pita pocket sandwiches as desired.

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