Lahmacun

Lahmacun flatbread
Photo by Evi Abeler

This iconic flatbread is rolled extra-thin and cooked quickly so the meat stays moist. The dish is popular in Armenia, Syria, Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries. At Mediterranean-Turkish restaurant Leyla in New York City, it’s served with a salad of sumac-spiced onions, ideally to be wrapped up in the lahmacun.  

Lamb Lahmacun 

Courtesy Leyla, New York City  

(Instagram @leylanycity) 

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces ground lamb  
  • ½ cup minced tomatoes, drained  
  • 3  tablespoons minced shallot  
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic  
  • 2  tablespoons minced green pepper  
  • 2  teaspoons minced parsley  
  • 1  teaspoon Turkish red pepper paste (or any red chili paste)  
  • 1  teaspoon cumin seeds  
  • 1  teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper  
  • ½  teaspoon salt  
  • 8 ounces store-bought or homemade pizza dough  
  • Lemon wedges, for serving  
  • Sumac-Onion Salad, if desired*  
Directions

Heat oven to 425˚F.  

In large bowl, use hands to mix together all ingredients except dough. Set aside.  

Divide dough into four equal balls. Roll out each as thin as possible, and transfer carefully to parchment-lined baking sheet. Divide lamb mixture evenly among crusts, and spread thinly to edges of each.  

Bake 68 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and topping begins to brown. Serve hot alongside lemon and Sumac-Onion Salad, if desired. Serves 4. 

*Sumac-Onion Salad  

Slice 1 large red onion very thin. Soak in ice water for 10 minutes, drain well, and mix with ¾ cup chopped parsley, 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon sumac.

Regional Pairing  

Sevilen2019 İsabey Sauvignon Blanc (Aegean) 

“A cold Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect companion with a meal of lahmacun,” says Maya Jovicevic, Leyla’s manager. “This wine’s crisp, refreshing acidity supports and brings out all the spicy, herbal flavors.”

Alternate Pairing  

J. Lohr 2018 Pure Paso Proprietary Red (Paso Robles) 

The lamb, tomato and spice in this dish could easily go just as well with a red wine. This bottling has ripe and spicy fruit flavors with an undercurrent of mint that matches beautifully with the lamb.  

Published on April 18, 2021