This is versatile, speedy, easy and ridiculously tasty. The everyday Hashwah is an essential recipe that serves as a base for countless impromptu Middle Eastern recipes. And I especially love that this is a fabulously exotic way to serve up humble ground (minced) beef or lamb!
What is Hashwah?
Hashwah or hashweh means “stuffing”, which is one of the ways this fragrant dish can be used. This recipe is most commonly found in Lebanese dishes. It is sometimes paired with rice and/or vegetables to create delicious side dishes like stuffed bell peppers, zucchini etc. Then the Arabs decided to use this spiced meat and turn it into a pilaf, add it into bechamel based dishes, and other countless ways.
I’ve decided to omit the rice from this version because I want you to be able to use this hashwah for many other recipes.
That’s why I’ve named this dish the everyday hashwah vs spiced beef or lamb. I want you to be able to use this as a base recipe for stuffing or a topping. I make batches of this and build my weeknight cooking around it. It’s a great way to prepare good home-cooked food in under 30 minutes.
So let’s get cooking and learn how to make hashwah!
What you’ll need to make hashwah:
To make this recipe you’ll need:
Ground beef or Lamb: If you want to be truly authentic with the Middle Eastern cuisine, you’ll be 100% committed to sticking with the lamb only approach to this recipe. I’ve made this recipe with lamb only, beef only, or a mixture of both. I love all the variations equally, but my go-to version is a mixture of both lamb and beef to cut down on the cost of preparing this dish.
Onions: What would a ground meat recipe be if it doesn’t include onions? 🤷🏼♀️I just can’t imagine. I used brown onions when preparing this dish. You can also use red onion. You must dice the onion finely for this recipe to get the best results.
Ghee: Which we will use briefly to saute the onions and nuts.
Spice Mixture: The spice mixture in this recipe is a combination of allspice, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. I used to make this hashwah without ginger, but as I was testing this recipe I felt it just needed something to boost the flavours.
Garlic: I use lots! About half a head of garlic. I like to grate the garlic into a mortar & pestle and mash it. I find by doing this extra and optional step, the garlic coats the meat and blend into the mixture really well.
Stock powder: This is an optional ingredient, but it does bring the dish to the next level in flavour. I highly recommend it.
Pomegranate molasses: This ingredient may not be available everywhere; you may have to order it on Amazon. Be sure to read the ingredient labels of this product; many manufacturers add sugar to the product to cut costs. The real molasses should have nothing but pomegranate and citric acid in the ingredients. Magharit juice is the best product I’ve found for producing high-quality Middle Eastern products.
Pine nuts: You don’t need much for the recipe, just 2 tbsp. These nuts are a bit expensive; you can always substitute the pine nuts for almond slivers. I prefer to fry them in a bit of ghee, but any oil will do.
How do you make Hashwa?
To make this recipe, you’ll simply:
Prepare the Ingredients: For simplifying your cooking process, you should prepare all your ingredients before starting. Dice your onions and parsley, measure out your spices into a small bowl and have your oils, cooking utensils all ready to go. Although this may sound obvious, it’s a mistake most people make when approaching a recipe. It’s a widespread problem to end up with burnt onions because you were trying to find an uncommon spice or utensil that you needed for the recipe.
Saute: Using a tsp of ghee, saute the onions until golden brown. Add your meat, break it up into small chunks and brown that too.
Add the Flavour: Add in your spices, stock powder and garlic, give it a few minutes to merge their flavours to the meat and give it a bit of a taste. Once the spices are cooked, add in 1 tablespoon of the pomegranate molasses at a time and taste. Some brands are sweeter, and some are more sour, let your tongue guide you on this one.
Fry the nuts: Add ghee to a small frying pan, once warm add your pine nuts. Fry in the ghee until lightly golden and remove from pan and onto a paper towel to soak up the excess ghee.
Finishing touch: Once the meat has finished cooking, remove from the heat stir in the parsley and nuts.
Now it’s time to figure out what you’re going to use the hashwa with.
Recipes that use of Hashwa:
macaroni bechamel (coming soon)
Hummus with spiced meat (coming soon)
Freekeh stuffed peppers (coming soon)
Everyday hashwa rice (coming soon)
This is authentic, speedy, easy and ridiculously tasty. Unlike most recipes, this is a base to create countless impromptu recipes. And I especially love that this is a fabulously exotic way to serve up humble ground (minced) beef!
- 500g ground beef (1 lb)
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 11/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp stock powder*
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses*
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed and mashed
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup of water (if needed)
- 2 tbsp fried pine nuts
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- Saute: Heat a meduim-sized frying pan on meduim-high heat. Add ghee and onions. Saute the onions until golden in colour.
- Break up the meat: Add the meat to the onions. As the meat is searing, break it up into smaller pieces. You don’t want big chunks for this recipe.
- Season and taste: Add the spices, garlic, and stock powder. Saute for 5 minutes to cook the spices. Add 1 tbsp of pomegranate molasses to your meat mixture at a time. Give it a good stir. Now, taste your meat mixture and adjust the seasoning as needed, if it’s needed. You may need to add a little bit of water to the meat mixture, if it’s too dry. It should look a bit shiny and moist.
- Fry the nuts: Heat a small frying on medium heat. Add ghee and pine nuts, saute until golden. Be careful, they burn really quickly. Transfer the nuts to a paper towel on a plate to reduce oil.
- Finishing touch: Remove the meat mixture from the heat. Stir in the parsley and nuts to the mixture (if using).
- Pomegranate molasses: Add a bit at a time and taste. With some brands I use 1 tbsp and other up to 4 tbsp for this recipe. Each supplier’s pomegranate molasses tastes a bit different.
- Stock powder: I prefer to use an MSG-free stock powder, but any stock powder or cube will work in this recipe. If using a cube, only use 1/2 and crumble it up in the meat mixture.
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keywords: Spiced beef, Hashwah, Stuffing, middle eastern ground beef recipes, mediterranean ground beef recipes