I often think what is my favorite food(s), and as I typically default to pizza, on average, I tend to also swerve over to pizza. Any kind of pizza will do, with the exception of having pineapple on a pizza, pretty much anything else goes. But there is a pizza that I was recently introduced to many months ago, and that is a Middle Eastern pizza known as Lahmacun. Lahmacun is a Turkish style pizza, or flatbread, that is coated with a spiced meat mixture that is out of this world. Granted you can make your own dough for this one, and you can use the Internet to find out how, but what I found worked best for me was to use some pretty awesome large flatbreads that I purchased from my local Middle Eastern grocery store.
The real ticker with this lahmacun recipe is the meat mixture and the spices that accompany it. It’s phenomenal, and addictive, so much that you will want to most likely eat a couple of them if your stomach can fit it. Typically made with a mixture of lamb, I decided to go with a lean ground beef mixture. It was great, and is still loaded with tons of flavor due to the spices that go in it.
Let’s get started.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 shallot, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- large flatbreads or large pita breads kept whole (or make your own dough)
- Optional: lemon wedges, sliced onions, sliced tomatoes for serving
To a food processor, add everything but the meat and flatbread and pulse until you have a fine mixture. Once everything is broken down, add in the ground beef. Continue to pulse until your vegetable mixture is completely incorporated.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
To a baking sheet, add the flatbread. Take about a cup of the meat mixture and smear it onto the flatbread, making an even spread from edge to edge. You want to completely coat the flatbread.
Repeat with remaining flatbreads and meat mixture.
Place in the preheated oven and cook for about 8 minutes or until the top is completely cooked through. Once cooked remove from the oven and continue cooking any more lahmacun.
The great thing here is that you can eat these right out of the oven, or even room temperature. If you want, squeeze a bit of lemon on it when it comes out of the oven. You also have a couple of options here when eating lahmacun. You can roll this up, almost like a burrito, you can pick it up and eat it like a tostada, or you slice it up. However you eat lahmacun, I am almost certain you will want to thank me because it is so delicious.
Note: Check out your local ethnic grocery stores. You will find some pretty awesome stuff in there that you will not commonly find in your own grocery store, and in my case those great large flatbreads that not only go great as a platform for this Lahmacun, but also for tearing and smearing into things like hummus or babaganoush. Hope you enjoy!