Aleppian Ground Meat and Rice Filling
Published by Ecco
In Aleppo, any hashu that was left over after stuffing vegetables was often cooked immediately over the stove, lightly sautéed in oil, along with a chopped onion. Today, the leftover hashu is formed into torpedo shapes and added to the roasting pan with any of the stuffed vegetable (mehshi) dishes.
When the Jewish community still lived in Aleppo, hashu consisted mostly of rice because meat was expensive. When cooking any of the mehshi dishes, it was necessary to place a plate on top of the stuffed vegetables and a small bottle filled with water on top of that to weigh down the dish, in order to prevent the rice in the hashu mixture from growing toolarge and escaping the vegetable cavity. Today, because many cooks can afford to use a greater proportion of meat in hashu, less weight is needed and they use only the plate. When there is a fancy occasion, snobar (pine nuts) are added to the hashu.
Extra hashu can be shaped into walnut-size balk or torpedo shapes and added to the roaster when preparing a recipe using hashu.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
Taste and Texturemeaty, savory, spiced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/3 cup short-grain white rice
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 onion, chopped (½ cup, optional)
- 1 cup pine nuts (optional)
Soak rice in water, enough to-cover, for 30 minutes. Drain.
Combine the meat, rice, allspice, vegetable oil, cinnamon, salt, white pepper, and, if desired, onion and pine nuts in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Use as required by other recipes.
2007 Poopa Dweck