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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Massad

Glenda's open-faced meat pie (Sfiha) recipe

I get so many comments whenever I post my mom's open-faced meat pies, I felt it was time to let you in on the deliciousness. These meat pies are called "sfiha" in Arabic. It is typical from Lebanon and Syria. My mom, Glenda, who is of British descent has mastered the art.

Sfiha (Arabic: صفيحة‎ sfīḥah) or sfeeha, is a dish consisting of flatbread cooked with a minced meat topping, often lamb flavoured with onion, tomato, pine nuts, and spices.

Open-Faced Meat Pie Recipe

You will need 1 recipe of Basic Lebanese Bread Dough (see below)


2lbs. lean beef or lamb

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup chopped parsley

1 cup chopped tomatoes (optional)

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)

  1. prepare Basic Lebanese Bread Dough

  2. While the dough is rising, combine filling ingredients and mix well.

  3. 3. using a rolling pin, roll out half the dough to 1.8" thickness on a floured surface. With a 4 " cookie cutter, cut out individual circles. (save dough left from cutting, roll and re-use)

  4. Spread about 2 Tbsp. of meat on the flattened dough. Twist the edge of the dough all around like a coil.

  5. Place meat pies on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 450-degree oven until golden brown (approx. 15 minutes). If meat needs a little more cooking, place sheet on top rack and broil, watching carefully that it doesn't burn. Immediately remove pies from the baking sheet.

yields approximately 36 pies

can be prepared ahead

freezes well

** I often prepare the dough, freeze and make the pies fresh on the day I want to eat them

Basic Lebanese Bread Dough

1 pkg active dry yeast

2 cups warm water

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil ( I use olive oil)

2 tsp salt

5 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp oil or butter

1 Tbsp shortening

  1. Mix yeast and sugar in 1/2cup warm water. Let rest for 10 minutes.

  2. Place flour and salt in a large bowl pushin flour to one side. Pour remaining 1 1/2 cups warm water, oil/shortening melted mixture into empty side of bowl.

  3. Knead flour into water until flour is well blended and dough is smooth. (add extra flour if needed. I like to hold back one cup of flour when making any dough recipe, I find it easier to add flour than to add water)

  4. Brush sides of bowl with 1 Tbsp. oil and roll dough in the oil so entire surface is covered (don't over do the oil it will weigh down the dough).

  5. Cover with plastic wrap and towel and let rest in a warm place (i.e. warm oven) for approximately 1- 1/2 hours, until double in size.

  6. Divide dough into grapefruit-size balls.

  7. Roll lightly in flour, cover with plastic wrap and tea towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

  8. Pat with finger tips into 8"rounds of 1/2" thick.

  9. Place on cookie sheet and bake in preheated 375 degree oven for approximately 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. If tips do not brown, place under broiler for 1-2 minutes. Watch closely!

  10. Brush tops with cool water to keep soft.

Variation: For pocket-style bread, omit step 8 and roll dough with rolling pin to 1/4" thickness, and continue procedure.


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