• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 16 Pies

Sfeeha (Baked Lamb Pies)

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Meat, Lamb/Sheep

 Ingredients List

  • DOUGH:
  • 2 3/4 c Water; lukewarm (110 to 115
  • ;degrees)
  • 2 pk Active dry yeast
  • pn Sugar
  • 8 c All purpose flour
  • 2 ts Salt
  • 1/4 c Olive oil
  • 2 c Onion; finely chopped
  • 1 tb Salt
  • 2 ts Salt
  • 4 tb Olive oil
  • 1/2 c Pine nuts; (pignolia)
  • 2 lb Lamb; lean, boneless and
  • ;coarsely ground
  • 2 md Tomato; fresh, ripe, peeled,
  • ;seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 c Green pepper; finely chopped
  • 1/2 c Parsley; finely chopped
  • ;prefer flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 c Lemon juice, fresh
  • 1/4 c Red wine vinegar
  • 1 tb Tomato paste
  • 1 ts Cayenne pepper
  • 1 ts Allspice
  • 2 ts Salt
  • Black pepper; freshly ground


Make the dough in the following fashion: pour 1/4 cup of the lukewarm
water into a small, shallow bowl and sprinkle it with the yeast and sugar.
Let the mixture rest for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir to dissolve the yeast
completely. Set the bowl in a warm, draft free place (such as a turned off
oven) for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture almost doubles in volume.
In a deep mixing bowl, combine the flour and the 2 teaspoons of salt,
make a well in the center and into it pour the yeast mixture, the 1/4 cup
of olive oil, and 2 cups of the remaining lukewarm water. Gently stir the
center ingredients together with a large spoon, then slowly incorporate the
flour and continue to beat until the ingredients are well combined. Add up
to 1/2 cup more lukewarm water, beating it in a tablespoon or so at a time,
and using as much as necessary to form a dough that can be gathered into a
compact ball. If the dough is difficult to stir, work in the water with
your fingers.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it by pressing it
down, pushing it forward several times with the heel of your hand and
folding it back on itself. Repeat for about 20 minutes, or until the dough
is smooth and elastic. Sprinkle it from time to time with a little flour
to prevent it from sticking to the board.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Drape
loosely with a kitchen towel and set aside in the warm, draft free place
for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the dough doubles in bulk. Punch the
dough down with a single blow of your fist and divide it into 16 equal
pieces. Roll each piece into a ball about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, cover
the balls with a towel and let them rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Drop the onions into a deep bowl and
sprinkle them with 1 tablespoon of the salt, turning them about with a
spoon to coat them evenly. Let the onions rest at room temperature for at
least 30 minutes, then squeeze them dry and return them to the bowl.
In a small skillet or saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until a
light haze forms above it. Add the pine nuts and, stirring constantly,
brown them lightly. Add them to the bowl of onions, along with the lamb,
tomatoes, green pepper, parsley, lemon juice, vinegar, tomato paste,
cayenne pepper, allspice, 2 teaspoons of salt and a liberal grinding of
black pepper. Knead the mixture vigorously with both hands, then beat with
a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Taste for seasoning.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees (F). With a pastry brush, coat 3 large
baking sheets or jelly roll pans with the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each of the balls into a round about 4
inches in diameter and no more than 1/8 inch thick. to make open face pies,
spoon about 1/2 cup of the lamb filling mixture on the center of each
round. Then with a spatula or the back of the spoon, spread the filling to
about 1/2 inch of the edge.
To make closed pies, spoon about 1/2 cup of the filling on the center of
each round. Pull up the edge from 3 equally distant points to make a
roughly triangular shaped pie and pinch the dough securely together at the
With a metal spatula, arrange the pies on the baking sheets. Bake in the
lower third of the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is lightly
browned. Serve hot, or at room temperature, accompanied, if you like, with

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