A staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, hashweh (or hushwee) is a humble, flavor-packed dish made of ground meat cooked in clarified butter, browned rice then seasoned with cinnamon and toasted pine nuts. It is naturally gluten-free and paleo.
You know how certain people have their specialties in every family? Well in our family, my Aunt Paula is famous for hashweh. No matter how hard I try, mine never quite tastes like hers and ironically, she always thinks hers is missing something too. (Trust me, hers is perfect. Every. Single. Time.)
What is hushwee:
Hashweh (or hushwee) is a simple, modest recipe made with ground meat, cinnamon, and toasted pine nuts. It is the foundation of many classic Lebanese dishes such as Stuffed Eggplant or my husband’s favorite, Sfeehas (Lebanese Meat Pies).
At Christmas, we love eating it on top of mashed potatoes with a drizzle of homemade gravy. It also tastes great served over hummus and eaten with pita bread.
What’s the best way to toast pine nuts?
I have been toasting pine nuts since I was tall enough to reach the stove and let me tell you, they are very easy to burn! While I LOVE the way they taste when browned in clarified butter, it requires the type of constant attention that I can’t offer now that I have two little ones around me all the time. My solution? Bake pine nuts 350 degrees on a baking sheet for 5-7 minutes. Use your nose – the pine nuts are done the minute you smell that intoxicating, nutty flavor. The end result is a batch of evenly toasted, golden brown pine nuts. Your hummus will thank me.
What do you serve with hashweh?
What type of meat do you use with hashweh?
This recipe works with any type of ground meat you have on hand but I prefer beef sirloin, ground lamb or a combination of the two.
What family recipes always bring you back to special times in the kitchen? I’d love to hear from you.
Your fork is waiting.
Lebanese Hushwee Rice
Lebanese Rice Pilaf
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain enriched white rice such as Uncle Ben's
- 1/4 cup clarified butter or ghee
- 1/2 cup vermicelli pasta broken in 2-inch pieces
- 3 cups boiling water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- In a deep pan, melt butter over medium high heat then add the minced onion. Sautee until translucent, 4-5 minutes.
- Add ground sirloin and spices. Cook 8-10 minutes or until meat is browned, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to break up meat. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in toasted pine nuts and set aside.
- While the hushwee is cooking, start making the rice pilaf.
Lebanese Rice Pilaf
- Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly using your fingers to rub off as much starch as possible. You'll know the rice is properly rinsed when the water comes out clear from the bottom. Set aside.
- In a large, deep pan heat the butter over medium heat until melted. Add the broken vermicelli pasta and brown, stirring frequently, until it is golden/dark brown. Be careful to not let burn - don't walk away from the pan. This takes about 4-5 minutes.
- Add rinsed rice to the pan and stir into the vermicelli and butter. Toast the rice for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Carefully pour boiling water into the pan and stir once. Add salt and pepper then stir again.
- Bring to a boil, stir once, then reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and fluff rice with a fork before sprinkling with fresh parsley to serve.
Toasting the Pine Nuts:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a small cookie sheet place raw pine nuts and cook for 5-7 minutes or until they are at a light brown in color. Keep a careful eye on them as they can burn quickly.
Want more healthy recipes? Head over to Pinterest!