(lahme bil sanieh)
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 large onion
2 pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or black pepper
2½ teaspoons pomegranate syrup*
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 Roma tomatoes
* = Found in Middle Easter or World supermarkets
8″ casserole dish
Serves 4. Takes 50 minutes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat casserole dish with butter. Dice onion. Add beef, onion, Aleppo pepper, pomegranate syrup, and salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until well blended. Add beef/onion mix from bowl to casserole dish. Smooth surface with spatula. Gently poke about 30 shallow holes in meat. Drizzle vegetable oil over meat. (The shallow holes you made let the oil get into meat.) Slice tomatoes ¼” thick with mandoline or knife. Arrange tomato slices over meat. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
1) 1,000,000 B.C. – 1519: Nothing happens in history on in cooking.
1519 – Conquistador Cortez brings tomatoes back to Spain. People don’t eat the pretty plants.
1595 – Europeans note that tomatoes are part of the poisonous nightshade family. The French also believe that tomatoes, pommes d’amour, have aphrodisiacal properties. Tomatoes still aren’t eaten.
1872: Tomatoes first appear in an ingredient in a American recipe for tomato chowder.
1870s: The modern American meatloaf appears on the scene.
1894: Joseph Campbell cans condensed tomato soup. This proves wildly successful.
1929-1939: The Great American Depression forces starving family to extend precious protein to great lengths. Making meatloaf ensures that everyone gets some beef. All Americans eat meatloaf.
1949: LegoTM starts producing Legos. Legos look like squares with four raised dots.
1962: Syria gains its independence. Syria starts making meatloaf. Its meatloaf squares have four raised tomatoes slices. Was this meatloaf inspired by Legos? I like to think so.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.