Maghmuma (Thin Sliced Meat Pot Pie)

This dish did not turn out as expected.  It was an experiment where a lot was learned and will be retried.  So here is my mistake with my ideas on how to do it better next time!

Raison sauce and tongue pie 025


Take some fatty meat and cut it into thin slices, the thinner you can get them. Take some round onions and slice them thinly crosswise into discs like coins.

Now prepare a clean pot of soapstone. Spread its bottom with a layer of the meat; sprinkle it with black pepper, coriander, and caraway; and spread a layer of the onion slices. Put another layer of the meat and fat sprinkle it with spices and salt then another layer of onion.

Cover with round of bread. Cook the pot on a slow-burning fire until meat is cooked. Invert the pot onto a wide bowl and serve it, God willing. (Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq, pp. 311)

Ingredients:1.5 lbs thin sliced meat i.e. tongue or brisket

1 tsp ground pepper

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp caraway seed

1 onion sliced in rounds; if too big to cut into coin sized rounds cut the onion in half and thinly sliced half pieces

1 round of raw dough.


This recipe was made with tongue, a tough piece of fairly lean meat. I personally believe that a fatty piece of meat such as a brisket would have been a good choice as well.

The skin of the tongue was peeled,

Raison sauce and tongue pie 008then sliced it as thinly as possible. Some slices were thinner than others.

The spices were gathered together then mixed together.

Raison sauce and tongue pie 012The clay pot was oiled on the bottom before the meat was added.

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The meat was added then spiced. Rounds of onions were scattered over the meat. I used dabs of butter for the fat as the tongue is very lean.

Raison sauce and tongue pie 016A second layer was added and the final round of spiced meat.

Raison sauce and tongue pie 022            At this point a layer of dough should have been added over the meat; however as this was a first time dish not all of the directions were read. I have to say it was a good misfortune to have missed the dough. The dish came out very tasty but very moist, almost soupy, with all of the butter and juice from the tongue. Had a crust been added, it would have been soggy and nasty.

The meat came out of the oven a little too early. The very thin slices were perfect at 350 for an hour. The thicker slices were good but chewier and could have stood for another hour of cooking.

Raison sauce and tongue pie 024            Over all the dish was tasty, even with missing the crust. I would probably suggest using a tough and fatty meat for next time such as brisket. The brisket would negate the necessity of butter while allowing for a non-soggy crust.


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