Recipe by chaka
"This is AMAZING! Very popular, simple dish made in Egyptian households. Once you make it, it will become a favorite for sure. When finished, you should have super tender beef with a thick oniony sauce. The onions will have cooked down to a thick rich sauce."
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cubed beef stew meat
onions, very thinly sliced
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups
water, or as needed
My Egyptian husband tought me this recipe. We love it. He puts it over rice or pasta. I put it on mashed potatoes. But we cook it about 3 or 4 hours.
I love this one, but I do it a little differently. I add "seven spice" mix and use a pressure cooker. It gets done in 20-30 mins and is so tender that it falls apart. Over white rice, yummy!
This "Egyptian Lahma Bil Basal (Beef in Rich Onion Sauce)" recipe was very good but not so spicy (as would be obvious from the list of ingredients). I browned my beef stew meat in lamb fat (not butter and canola oil), and used homemade lamb broth (instead of chicken bouillon cubes and water) along with 4 cups of thinly-sliced onions for the base. I ended up throwing in 4 extra bay leaves because I am quite used to eating highly-spiced food, and the flavor of this stew was so mild. I wanted an authentic dish, so I resisted adding any other seasoning (not even salt or pepper) until I was done. My meat was very tender after 2.5 hours of cooking on low, so I removed it from the onion broth while I turned up the heat to reduce it to a thick onion gravy, and this process significantly improved its flavor. Much to my surprise, the onion gravy became much sweeter and more delicious after resting for a few hours waiting for suppertime. I served the stew over couscous with brightly-colored slow-roasted vegetables (carrots, parsnips, yams, and red onion) on the side. I decided to spice up our supper by sprinkling it with Egyptian Dukkah (Allrecipes.com, rosichops). The DukKah contains salt and pepper (as well as hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander, and cumin), so I did not add any salt and pepper to the stew. With the Dukkah topping, we really enjoyed this recipe. Thank you Chaka for introducing us to Lahma Bil Basal.
Overall this was extremely yummy. I followed it to a T, my only negative to this whole dish is there was too much onion sauce and not enough meat. And it could account for a few things, 1: my onions were the size of small grapefruits or softballs, so I used only 3 and 2: possibly didn't even need that much water. But the overall flavor of the dish was great, so I can say for sure I will make again, but will add at least another pound of stew meat. It sure was different and delicious. You could totally add veggies to this to make it chunkier.
This is different than our normal evening meals - which is exactly what I was looking for! I wanted a stew, but not a traditional American type of dish. This was perfect for something different and, I think, better than the traditional stew. I followed the recipe and I like it as is.
Now, with that said, I screwed up the recipe. I didn't read that it should have been 4 onions until it was nearly done. I only used 1. It needed the other 3. So that's why I say I like it as is.
Last note, I did let it simmer for nearly 4.5 hours. The beef stayed pretty true to its original form until the last 20 minutes or so of simmering. And then suddenly it fell apart and was amazingly tender.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Egyptian Lahma Bil Basal (Beef in Rich Onion Sauce)
Serving Size: 1/4 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 224
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