My husband’s family is Armenian and before I met him I’d never had food like lamb, shish kabob, stuffed grape leaves or eggplant (outside of eggplant parmesan). Good thing I married into this heritage because I’ve fallen in love with his family’s cooking! This recipe, lahmejoun, is a family favorite and is essentially Armenian pizza. Lahmejoun is great sliced up as appetizers, wrapped with greens for lunch or just a snack. My husband’s mom and grandma always have some in the freezer. At every family gathering (even after a GIANT meal) the lahmejoun is pulled out of the freezer and all the cousins go for round two. It’s become a comfort food to me that I’ve introduced to friends and family who are now also in love. Seriously, some regularly ask when I’m going to make it again!
What You Need:
- 1 1/2 lbs lean ground lamb
- 2 cups parsley
- 1/2 medium red onion
- 2 red peppers
- 2 green peppers
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 16 ounces crushed tomatoes (canned)
- 2 10-count packages of 1o” tortillas (I’ve used white or whole wheat)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 t allspice
- 1 t salt
I admit, this is the cheating version! The original recipe includes instructions for making the dough from scratch, rather than using tortillas. But, who has time for that!
This makes 20, 10″ lahmejouns total.
What You Do:
1) Preheat the oven to 450 and get a few baking sheets lined with parchment paper ready.
2) One by one in a food processor, finely chop the parsley, red peppers, green peppers and red onion. Throw the garlic in with one of those ingredients to chop the garlic too.
3) In a large bowl, mix together the lamb with everything you just chopped up in the food processor. I recommend getting in there with your hands for the mixing, it’s much more effective than a spoon!
4) Once everything is well mixed, add and mix in the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, allspice and salt. Mix well and you’ll have a mixture like the following picture…
5) I put two tortillas on each baking sheet, baking two sheets at time on different racks. Depending on the size of your oven, you may be able to fit four baking sheets on two racks. Spread the meat mixture in a very thin layer on the tortillas, going out about a 1/4″ from the edge.
6) Bake the two sheets for 4-6 minutes on different racks. Then, rotate the sheets from top to bottom, baking for another 4-6 minutes. Time will vary with ovens — you don’t want the tortillas to become completely crispy.
Keep going until you’ve baked all 20!
You can eat right after baking while warm — as I mentioned earlier they make great apps sliced up. I love them for lunch, piled high with greens such as spinach.
Once cooled you can also freeze them. Just stack them up separating each with parchment paper. Wrap the stack in foil and place in a gallon sized freezer bag. Pull them out as you want to eat them, heating up in a toaster oven, oven or microwave.