Simply Lebanese

Beef Sambousek

Beef Sambousek
  • Prep Time
    30 mins,
  • Cook Time
    15 mins.
  • Serving
    12
Beef Sambousek is a crispy meat pie, typically served as a mezze or appetizer. These delicious pies are loaded with spiced ground beef, onions, pine nuts and fried to golden perfection.
Beef Sambousek

Sambousek is a Lebanese delicacy enjoyed most often as an appetizer or “mezze.” There are many different varieties of these crispy pies including a savory cheese one, and this beef one which can also be made with ground lamb.

Sambousek is very similar to fatayer, except the dough is a little different as it is not baked, but rather fried. Also, unlike Lahme bi Ajeen, the open-faced meat pies, the beef in sambousek is precooked before being rolled up.

Beef Sambousek

How to shape Sambousek

The dough for sambousek is very basic and requires very few ingredients. There is no yeast in the dough so, there is no wait time necessary for rising. I just let the dough rest for about 30 minutes before rolling. Once the dough has been rolled out, I use a biscuit cutter and cut out as many 3–4-inch rounds as I can. I then top them with a tablespoon of the beef filling and fold them in half while pressing the edges together to seal them closed.

Beef Sambousek

From here, there are a couple of different ways to shape the sambousek. The first technique to close the sambousek is to twist the edges and press down to make a nice design. Another technique is to use a fork and press down on the sealed edges for an even tighter seal.

Freezing Sambousek

In Lebanon, you will find sambousek served alongside similar mezze like fatayer, kibbe balls, and rakakat bi jebne (cheese rolls). They make a delicious appetizer, especially during the month of Ramadan. These beef sambousek freeze extremely well, making them the perfect appetizer to prep in advance and freeze for later use.

Beef Sambousek
To freeze, as soon as you finish shaping the sambousek, lay them on a parchment paper lined plate and freeze for about an hour before transferring to an airtight baggie. They last 3-4 months in the freezer. The do not need to be thawed before cooking and can be deep-fried or air-fried directly from the freezer.

STEP 1

Place the flour in a large, deep bowl.

Beef Sambousek

Place the flour in a large, deep bowl. Add salt, cornstarch, oil and ½ cup of water. Mix with a wooden or rubber spoon, and slowly add more water as needed. (I used three more tablespoons).

Once the dough has come together, form into a ball using your hands. Dust with flour and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set aside to rest for about 30 minutes.

STEP 2

In a skillet, heat up one tablespoon of avocado oil. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown.

Beef Sambousek

STEP 3

Finely chop the onion.
In a skillet, brown the ground beef until no longer red.

Beef Sambousek

Add the chopped onion, and two tablespoons of avocado oil. Sauté for about five more minutes until the onion is translucent.

STEP 4

Add the seven spices, salt and black pepper. Cook for two more minutes.

Drizzle two teaspoons of pomegranate molasses, and mix in the toasted pine nuts.

STEP 5

Once the dough has rested, divide into two balls to make rolling easier. Keep one dough ball covered while you work on the other one. Turn the dough ball onto a floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll thin about ¼ inch thick.
Using a biscuit cutter or glass cup, cut 3–4-inch rounds. Set aside remaining dough to roll out later.
Beef Sambousek

STEP 7

Place one tablespoon of the meat filling in the middle of each dough round. Fold them in half and seal the edges with your fingers by pressing the dough together.
Beef Sambousek

The first technique to close the sambousek is to twist the edges and press down to make a nice design.

Another technique is to use a fork and press down on the sealed edges for an even tighter seal.

STEP 8

Heat up a pot of any neutral frying oil to 350F degrees. Deep-fry the sambousek for about 2-3 minutes on each side.

**If sambousek is frozen, you may need to add an additional minute to each side.

To air-fry the sambousek, spray both sides of the sambousek with non-stick spray. Place on the rack in the air-fryer (or on a parchment paper lined rack for an easier clean-up) and air-fry on 350F for 5 minutes. Increase the temperature to 390, flip the sambousek over, and cook for 3 more minutes.

**If sambousek is frozen, you may need to add an additional minute to each side.

Beef Sambousek
Beef Sambousek

Beef Sambousek

Beef Sambousek is a crispy meat pie, typically served as a mezze or appetizer. These delicious pies are loaded with spiced ground beef, onions, pine nuts and fried to golden perfection.
4.45 from 18 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Lebanese
Keyword: air fryer meat pies, deep-fried meat pies, Meat Pies, Sambousek
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 233kcal
Author: Iman

Ingredients

  • 2 cups  All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cornstarch
  • ¼ cup Avocado Oil  (or any Neutral Oil)
  • ½ cup Water *Add more if needed, I used 2 additional tablespoons.

Beef Filling

  • 12 oz. Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. 7 Spices
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp. Pomegranate Molasses
  • 2 tb. Avocado Oil
  • 2 tb. Pine Nuts

Instructions

  • Place the flour in a large, deep bowl. Add salt, cornstarch, oil and ½ cup of water. Mix with a wooden or rubber spoon, and slowly add more water as needed. (I used three more tablespoons).
    Once the dough has come together, form into a ball using your hands. Dust with flour and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set aside to rest for about 30 minutes.
  • In a skillet, heat up one tablespoon of avocado oil. Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown.
  • Finely chop the onion.
    In a skillet, brown the ground beef until no longer red. Add the chopped onion, and two tablespoons of avocado oil. Sauté for about five more minutes until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the seven spices, salt and black pepper. Cook for two more minutes. Drizzle two teaspoons of pomegranate molasses, and mix in the toasted pine nuts.
  • Once the dough has rested, divide into two balls to make rolling easier. Keep one dough ball covered while you work on the other one. Turn the dough ball onto a floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll thin about ¼ inch thick.
    Using a biscuit cutter or glass cup, cut 3–4-inch rounds. Set aside remaining dough to roll out later.
  • Place one tablespoon of the meat filling in the middle of each dough round. Fold them in half and seal the edges with your fingers by pressing the dough together.
    The first technique to close the sambousek is to twist the edges and press down to make a nice design.
    Another technique is to use a fork and press down on the sealed edges for an even tighter seal.

Deep Frying

  • Heat up a pot of any neutral frying oil to 350F degrees. Deep-fry the sambousek for about 2-3 minutes on each side.
    **If sambousek is frozen, you may need to add an additional minute to each side.

Air Fryer

  • To air-fry the sambousek, spray both sides of the sambousek with non-stick spray. Place on the rack in the air-fryer (or on a parchment paper lined rack for an easier clean-up) and air-fry on 350F for 5 minutes. Increase the temperature to 390, flip the sambousek over, and cook for 3 more minutes.
    **If sambousek is frozen, you may need to add an additional minute to each side.

Nutrition

Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 2mg

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    Recipe Reviews

    • Laudie Miate

      Hi Iman,
      Can you use the same dough as sambousek to make manoush and pizza?
      Thank you for you wealth of posts and recipes.
      Laudie

      • Iman

        Yes, you can. They will come out more like “fried” crispy versions however. I do have a recipes for mini pizzas and manakeesh on the blog using a yeast dough, which is more traditional.

    • Nikki Hanif

      Salaam, do we use cold or hot water to mix the dough please

      • Iman

        Salaams! Either one honestly, it shouldn’t make a difference the temp of the water.

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