Sfeeha Meat Pies; Holiday Edition
Updated: Jun 19
Sfeeha is essentially spiced meat baked on top of fluffy dough. Simple yet so festive and elegant. At an Arab home No holiday table or festive occasion is ever complete without some sort of assortment of savory pastries.
Making dough is so therapeutic to me. The smell as the yeast and the olive oil swirl together .. the joy of watching the dough double in size .. and how soft it feels on our hands .. I love this process so much. It’s both delicious and rewarding.
These open face pastries are either made with meat, cheese, Muhammara or veggies like spinach and herbs like Za’atar. They can be served as appetizers or part of the big feast during the holidays.
Turkeys are often eaten around this time of the year and ruby cranberries fill the markets. So the this holiday sfeeha edition is so festive, light and loaded with flavors. Contrary to most applications that add lots of sugar to cranberry sauces cranberries are actually tart and fruity on their own making them a great compliment to the turkey sfeeha.
My grandmother will always have a stash of savory pastries in her freezer in case family and friends show up at a moments notice.
My kids love these to take to school or after school treat scooped with Labaneh or savory yogurt.
These savory morsels are so fun to make as they are to eat, even the kids get so much joy in playing with dough so get them next to you in the kitchen and make these together. Cheers to holidays filled with joy, peace, laughter and delicious food.
Sfeeha Meat Pies
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Preparation time: 30 minutes plus time for the dough to rise and rest
Makes: 30-35 pieces
FOR THE DOUGH:
5 cups all purpose flour sifted
1 Tbs active dry yeast
1 Tsp sugar or honey
3/4 cup mix of olive oil and canola oil
1 cup of warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tsp salt
Combine the yeast, warm water and sugar or honey in a small cup set aside until yeast activates. It could take up to 10 min.
Using an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment add the flour, and salt. Drizzle in the warm milk and the yeast mixture, and oils. Mix the dough on medium speed until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. About 3 minutes. If the dough is too wet add in 1 tbls of flour at a time. Raise the speed to high and mix for 2 more minutes. The dough should be elastic, shiny and comes together in a ball.
*You could also kneed the dough by hand as well.
Coat the dough with a tsp of olive oil and cover to rise in a warm place. About an hour or if weather is colder maybe longer. The dough would double in size.
Punch the dough down
1 pound ground turkey (traditionally made with lamb or beef or a combo )
1 jalapeños finely chopped (optional)
1 small red pepper seeds removed and finely chopped
1 onion finely minced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp or Few grinds of fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh cranberries or you can use 2 tsp of Pomegranate molasses
1/3 cup pine nuts
Mix all ingredients together until combined and incorporated.
To assemble the meat pies:
Divide dough into small golf size pieces, roll them slightly into a ball
Let them rest covered for 30 minutes
Spread the dough with your fingers or with a rolling pin into a circle about 1/4 an inch thick and about 3 inches in diameter. You may find it helpful to flip the dough few times on the floured surface so it doesn’t stick. Using your fingers create some dimples on the dough surface to help the meat mixture stick.
Add one tbls of the raw meat mixture to the dough
And using the back of the spoon spread it evenly on the dough leaving a small border
Add few pine nuts on top to garnish and add crunch
Bake At 350 for 15-20 minutes until meat is cooked and dough is cooked and crisped around the edges
Run under the broiler to crisp the top if you wish
Sfeeha filling can me made a day in advance and stored in the fridge.
Storage: sfeeha will last few days in the fridge just reheat before serving in the oven or toaster oven.
Sfeeha can be frozen in freezer zip bags up to 3 months. You can bake them from f
rozen but you might have to increase the cooking time by a few minutes.