Hilyauniyya Asparagus stuffed in Meat (one version)

I really like asparagus.  It’s one of the best things about spring and summer.  Ok not one of the best but a very tasty part of summer!  So when I have extra asparagus on hand (which isn’t often) I try to find new ways to cook it.  Here is one version of some thing I found.

A version of


Asparagus with Meat stuffing


Take asparagus, the largest you have, clean and boil, after taking tender meat and pounding  fine; throw in pepper, caraway, coriander seed, cilantro juice, some oil and egg white; take the boiled asparagus, one after another, and dress with this ground meat, and do so carefully. Put an earthenware pot on the fire, after putting in it water, salt, a spoon of murri and another of oil, cilantro juice pepper, caraway and coriander seed; little by little wile the pot boils, throw in it the asparagus wrapped in meat.  Boil in the pot and throw in it meatballs of this ground meat, and when it is all evenly cooked cover with egg, breadcrumbs some of the stuffed meat already mentioned and decorate with egg, God willing.

(An Anonymous Andalusion Cookbook of the 13th Centry, pp. A-41)


Asparagus spears         1 lb ground meat (I used beef)

2 tsp pepper, caraway, coriander (seed or powdered), cilantro (I used dried), olive oil

2 eggs                          1 ½ C of ground bread crumbs

1 tsp salt



This recipe has several steps.  It’s not a put together and throw into a pot type of dish.

This is the first round of spices.  There will be a second round.  It’s on the test!

First trim off the white ends of the asparagus, throw these away, and put the green tips into boiling water for about 2-3 minutes, or until the asparagus turns bright green.

Once the asparagus has turned bright green, remove from water and set to the side.

Next gather all the spices together and separate into two batches, each batch to have 1 tsp of each spice.

Separate 1 of the 2 eggs.

Put the egg white in with the meat and set the yolk in a bowl with the other egg.

Put one set of spices, into the ground meat and kneed well.

Add the oil.

The meat will be very moist and slippery!

It looks not so tasty but gets better soon!

Take a ball of meat and flatten it out.

Wrap the meat around the asparagus carefully.

Due to the slipperiness, the meat will try to slide off the asparagus or not cover very well.  Some times a meat patch of extra spiced meat can be applied, or the original coating can be pinched back over the meat back over hole covering the asparagus.

Some times you just have to unwrap the whole things and restart.  Place each bit of meat and asparagus to the side.

I did not have an open fire pit in which to put a clay pot so I had to use a metal pot over the stove.  Put enough water to come only half way up a meat wrapped asparagus. Add the spices.

Here the fish sauce has melded into the salt a little, hence the damp/wet looking salt and spices.

I added the spices all at the same time instead of bit by bit.

Then place each meat/asparagus piece into the pot carefully.

You can use your fingers but I’d use tongs if at all possible.  Do not worry if the water boils over the meat.  This is suppose to happen.

Let the meat cook through and reduce a little roughly 7 minutes.  I do suggest doing a taste test around the 5 minute mark.

The next step is to combine the eggs and the breadcrumbs.

Here is the cup of bread crumbs with one egg and the yolk of the first egg.  You’ll want to combine these quickly.

Once the meat has thoroughly cooked and is slightly evaporated.  Add the breadcrumb mixture to the water.

The breadcrumbs and eggs will absorb the water and cook very very quickly.  The more water and fewer breadcrumbs the more porridge like this becomes.  The less water, the more solid the bread crumbs become and slightly crispy at the bottom.

Color wise this is not very pretty.  Taste wise though, this is pretty darn tasty! If you need a bit of coloring add parsley over the top as a garnish to look less boring, though this really is anything but boring!



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