5 Mouth-Watering Egyptian Beef Recipes

What are the best Egyptian Beef Recipes?

Egyptian cuisine is distinct for having different sections for every kind of food. For instance, there are tens of ways to cook the top two carbohydrate kings: rice and pasta. Cooked vegetables are another section with Mahshi and stews being the top, most delicious, and highly consumed dishes. Poultry, dairy products, and desserts are other remarkable sections as well.

Beef, on the other hand, is a whole different thing. You may think of it as the uppermost shelf of the Egyptian cuisine pyramid. It is almost everyone’s favourite, largely consumed during Ramadan, on Eids, social occasions, and family dinners. Besides, a big section of the population also eats beef on a regular basis. 

That said, there are different types of red meat commonly consumed in Egypt, including beef, veal, lamb, mutton, kunduz as well as liver, kidney, and other animal parts. Minced beef is also widely used in making a variety of dishes, on top of which is the famous Bechamel Pasta.

In Egypt and the rest of the Muslim world, there is a meat-eating festival. It is associated with the second Muslim feast Eid al-Adha which marks the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

Eid al-Adha occurs annually on the tenth day of the twelfth month of the Hijri Calendar and lasts four days. During that period, Muslims slaughter animals such as goats, sheep, cows, lambs, or camels to commemorate the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (PBU) and his willingness to slaughter his son Ismail as Allah had ordered him.

After the slaughter, meat is cut, divided, packed, and given to widows, needy single parents, orphans, refugees, the elderly, poor, or disabled as well as family and friends. As a result, almost everyone in the large Muslim worldwide population is eating meat during that time of the year.

And Egyptians like to cook that meat in a variety of ways.

In this article, we demonstrate five ways to cook beef the Egyptian way. They are savoury and incredibly delicious. Some of them are served with other main courses which make the eating experience even more enjoyable. 

So let’s hop into it.

(1) Beef and Fattah

Beef with Fattah, which are two different but strongly related dishes, is what Egyptians eat during on the first day of Eid al-Adha. The way beef is cooked for this recipe is the basic way which also goes along with many other dishes.

So to break it down, this recipe includes two parts, the beef cooking part and the Fattah cooking part. Fattah is a combination between roasted bread bites and white rice covered with vinegar tomato sauce. This dish rarely, if ever, goes alone. It is always topped with stir-fried beef pieces.

The beef used for this recipe can be of any type; however, lamb or beef shank are the best and most popular to use. They also give Fattah a fantastic rich taste since their stock is used to cook the rice. Also, the beef shank gets so tender when cooked and melts in the mouth when eaten!

Ingredients

These ingredients are enough to make a large platter of Fattah and serve eight people.

  • 2 kilos of beef shank 
  • 1 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cubes of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, sliced
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 medium-sized tomato
  • 5 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 2 cups of tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry coriander power
  • 1 laurel leaf
  • 4 cloves of cardamom
  • 4 cloves of mastic
  • 400 grams (or two cups) of short-grain rice
  • 3 loaves of Egyptian or pita bread

Meat recipe

First off, we must prepare the meat since it usually takes longer to cook.

If you have the beef shank in one big or multiple chunks, you need to cut it into smaller pieces. Every piece should be around 150-200 g.

Place a large cooking pot on medium heat and combine two tablespoons of vegetable oil with two cubes of butter, two cloves of cardamom, two cloves of mastic, and a cinnamon stick. Stir until the butter melts then add the beef pieces. At this point, we only need to stir-fry them for a couple of minutes. Turn them on all sides so they get a beautiful golden brown colour.

Add carrot slices and one large onion cut into fours as well as a medium-sized tomato also cut into fours to the pot and combine them with beef. Adding these vegetables gives the beef stock a very rich taste and a higher nutritional value.

Add hot water to the pot until all the ingredients are covered and bring them to a boil. Keep the heat on medium-high, cover the pot, and let the beef cook. This shall take around 30 to 45 minutes. If you feel the beef is still not fully cooked or al dente, let it cook for more time. Also, pay attention to the stock level and add water when necessary.

Once the beef is cooked, add salt as desired to the stock. Stir until combined then take the beef pieces out and set them aside for now.

Fattah recipe

Place 400 g of short-grain rice in a large bowl and add water until the bowl is half full. Use your hand to clean the rice very well. Drain the bowl and repeat the process around four or five until the rice drains all of the starch. The water should come out clean. Add in more water and soak the rice for around 20 minutes. After that, drain the rice completely before using it.

Place a large cooking pot on medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil, two tablespoons of butter, one laurel leaf, two cloves of mastic, and two cloves of cardamom. Stir until the butter is melted. Then add the rice and two teaspoons of salt.

Stir the rice well until well combined with the other ingredients. Pour three cups of the beef stock we prepared earlier and bring the rice to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the rice, and let it cook.

While the rice cooks, we need to prepare the remaining ingredients of the Fattah: the roasted bread and the vinegar tomato sauce.

Starting with the sauce. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil to a deep frying pan and four minced cloves of garlic. Sir until golden brown then add a quarter cup of vinegar and one tablespoon of tomato paste. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.

Now pour in two cups of tomato juice. Stir the mixture. Add salt and ground black pepper with a quarter teaspoon of dry, crushed coriander. Stir and bring the sauce to a boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer.

Bring three loaves of Egyptian or pita bread. Cut them into small bites. It is recommended you toast them in the oven first. If this is not available, you can skip this step. 

Add two tablespoons of butter to a frying pan and stir it until melted. Place the bread bites with two cloves of minced garlic and stir-fry them. Keep stirring until the bread is shiny golden brown. Add quarter a cup of the tomato sauce (once it is cooked) and another quarter a cup of beef stock. Stir and combine them well with the bread. Just make sure the bread does not get tender.

By this time, the rice should be cooked (I hope you did not forget about it!)

The last step before layering is stir-frying the beef. Please note that this step must be done at the very end, right before serving for it is way tasty when served hot.

In another frying pan—I hope you have as many as the ones we used in this recipe—place one tablespoon of butter with two tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Stir until the oil is heated and the butter has melted then add the beef pieces. Turn them a couple of times until fried then take them out.

Now to the long-awaited moment, layering.

On a large platter, add the bread bites and evenly distribute them. Then add the rice as the second layer and spread it to cover the bread. Then add the vinegar tomato sauce to the top. Make sure the sauce does not completely cover the rice. Then finally top the Fattah platter with the meat pieces.

And today’s first recipe is done.

(2) Kebab Stew (Kebab Halla)

Our second recipe is no less scrummy.

Kebab refers to grilled meat cubes often made in every country in the Middle East. Kebab halla is the kind of kebab you make at home when there is no way to grill it or simply when you have an urge for another taste.

If you know Arabic, you will find out that the proper name kebab halla is pretty self-explanatory. Halla is the Arabic word for a cooking pot. So kebab halla is the kind of kebab you cook in a cooking pot. Quite smart, is it not?!

Though to get a better idea of how this dish generally is, we may call it kebab stew. This name also tells how the kebab is cooked. Yes, stewed!

Typically, kebab stew is consumed with Egyptian bread, though some people like to eat it along with white rice—I know all rice is white but white rice in Egypt means that no other main ingredients that might change the rice colour are added.

This recipe, just like Hawawshi, is centred on beef and onions. While Hawawshi uses minced beef and minced onions, kebab stew prefers them as cubes and julienne.

So here is the recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo of beef (preferred with no fat)
  • 1 kilo of julienned white onions
  • 10 cloves of cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry coriander
  • 2 laurel leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Recipe

First, cut your beef into small cubes. Then place a deep frying pan on medium-high heat. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil with two tablespoons of ghee. Stir until the oil is heated and the ghee has melted then add half the quantity of the julienned onions.

Stir the onions until translucent. Add the beef and mix it well with the onions then add spices: ground black pepper, allspice, laurel leaves, coriander, cinnamon, and 10 cloves of cardamom. Stir until well combined. 

When the beef turns light brown, add a quarter cup of water. Then lower the heat, cover the pan, and let the stew simmer for as long as it shall until al dente. 

When the beef is around 90% cooked, add the remaining quantity of onions. Add one teaspoon of salt, or as desired. Stir the beef with the onions until well combined then cover them again and let them fully cook.

Once cooked, move the kebab stew to a serving bowl and serve it hot with pita bread or rice.

(3) Shakshuka with Minced Beef

Shakshuka is a proper name that has no significance whatsoever except to refer to this very dish of eggs and vegetables. It is simple and pretty straightforward, easy to make, and super affordable.

Shakshuka by its mere ingredients is a breakfast dish. It only takes a few minutes to cook and it is good to go. It is usually consumed with bread, most commonly Egyptian bread but any other kind will do.

Then at some point in time, Shakshuka received an upgrade that made it level up to a lunch dish. Yet, it can still be consumed as a breakfast meal too. And this is the recipe we are demonstrating here.

This recipe also works best if you have leftover minced beef.

Ingredients

  • 200 grams of minced beef
  • 2 medium-sized minced onion
  • 3 minced cloves of garlic
  • 3 medium-sized chopped tomatoes
  • 1 chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1 minced hot green chilli 
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste

Recipe

First, we prepare the minced beef.

Place a large frying pan on medium-high heat. This cooking pan will be the serving pan. Place the minced beef and break it up with a spatula. Then let it cook for five minutes until it has absorbed all the excess liquid and has become crispy and brown.

Add one medium-sized minced onion and one minced clove of garlic. Stir until well blended with the beef and let them cook for a couple of minutes. When the onions and garlic are translucent, add salt and ground black pepper as desired then half a teaspoon of ground cardamom. Stir until all ingredients are well combined. Turn off the heat and set the minced beef aside.

In another frying pan, place one tablespoon of vegetable oil with four tablespoons of butter. Stir until heated and the butter has melted then add one medium-sized minced onion. Stir the onions until almost translucent then add two minced cloves of garlic and three medium-sized chopped tomatoes. Mix the ingredients well. Add salt, ground black pepper, and cumin.

Add the minced beef to the pan. Stir to combine it with the other ingredients. Then add one tablespoon of tomato paste and the minced yellow pepper. When everything is well blended, make five holes in the beef and crack five eggs in them.

Leave the eggs to cook for two minutes. Then place the pan on the upper rack of the oven and turn on the oven grill. If this is not available, you can cover the pan while still cooking and until the eggs fully cook.

Take Shakshuka off the heat. Sprinkle some ground black pepper and serve it with bread. 

(4) Rice Kofta Stew

Kofta is a famous dish made of grilled meatballs and often consumed with bread. Kofta at a kebab restaurant—called kababgy—is much more delicious than that cooked at home but it can be a little, if not a lot, expensive.

However, there is another type of kofta that is easily made at home and still provides the savoury beef taste: rice kofta. It is way affordable. One kilo of beef can make a large quantity of rice kofta that many families usually store in their freezers to consume later.

Rice kofta goes through many processes until the final dish is prepared: mixing, mincing, rolling, frying, and stewing. It requires an electric meat grinder, a quite powerful one. 

Many people who do not have a meat grinder get their rice kofta pre-prepared at the butcher’s. They provide the ingredients and get the rice kofta done and ready for frying.

Rice kofta, like every other stew, is consumed with vermicelli rice.

So here is how to make it.

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo of red meat (must not have any fat)
  • 4 cups of short-grain rice
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 1 chopped bundle of fresh dill
  • 1 chopped bundle of fresh coriander
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of dry crushed coriander1 tablespoon of ghee
  • 5 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium-sized minced onion
  • 1 1/2 tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 table of beef stock or water

Recipe

Before using the rice, it must be well washed and soaked for around 30 minutes. When ready, spread the rice on a cotton towel and let it get completely dry. That should last for around 30 minutes.

Once the rice is dry, we need to grind it. Place the rice in a spice or coffee grinder. If none of those is available, you can use a food processor. Beat the rice as many times as it needs to turn into a soft powder.

Place the rice powder in a large bowl then add the beef, one medium-sized onion, five cloves of garlic, and all the spices listed above as well as the chopped bundles of coriander and dill.

Mix those ingredients with your hand and then place them in the beef grinder and grind them. Repeat the process about three times until the resultant dough looks and feels like very soft, extremely well-blended clay. The result will also look green as we have added green herbs.

As we have mentioned, you can get this step done at the butcher’s.

Now, it is time to make the kofta. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil to a small bowl. Bring a large tray to place the kofta on it, oil your palms, and start shaping. Take a small portion of the kofta dough and round it to make a small ball. You can keep it like that or you can roll it. These two are the standard rice kofta shapes. 

Repeat the process until you are done with all the kofta dough and have turned it all into balls or rolls.

Take as many kofta rolls as you want for this recipe and store the rest in the freezer. You can also store them after frying, whichever you prefer.

Now to the deep frying stage. Add three cups of vegetable oil to a deep frying pan placed on medium-high heat and wait a minute until the oil heats up. Then place the kofta rolls. Leave them on one side for a few seconds then turn them on the other side.

Keep turning so the rolls get the same colour from all sides. When the rolls have turned shiny brown, take them out and set them aside for now.

Now to make the stew. In a cooking pot, add one tablespoon of ghee and stir until melted then place one medium-sized minced onion and five cloves of minced garlic. Stir until a little translucent. Add one and a half cups of tomato juice and one tablespoon of tomato paste. Then add one teaspoon of salt, another of cumin, and half a teaspoon of dry crushed coriander. Finally pour one cup of hot beef stock. If that is not available, use hot water. You should not add chicken broth to the water as it will completely change the taste of the kofta.

Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it boil for a couple of minutes then add the rice kofta we prepared earlier. Lower the heat and let the kofta stew simmer for a few minutes then take it off the heat. 

Place the rice kofta stew in one large bowl or multiple smaller bowls and serve hot with vermicelli rice. We have demonstrated this recipe before so you can find it here.

(5) Egyptian Sirloin

Sirloin steak is such a famous dish in the West. The way it is cooked is mainly concerned with changing the temperature to get a different level of tenderness. It is also usually served alone or with some sauteed veggies, baked potatoes, or French fries. In Egypt, sirloin is quite different.

First off, most Egyptians prefer any kind of beef, not just sirloin, to be very tender. So sirloin is cooked in a way that makes it super tender. Second, it is not served as one single big steak but rather as smaller and thinner slices Thirdly, sirloin is not the main course, but only half of it. Sirloin is often combined with baked vegetables and served with vermicelli rice.

All in all, the Egyptian sirloin is so good you must try it.

Here is how you can make it.

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo of sirloin, cut into thin slices
  • 2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 teaspoon off zaatar
  • 3 large potatoes, sliced
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 4 medium-sized onions, julienned
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper
  • 1 bundle of fresh celery
  • 3 large tomatoes, cut into fours
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice
  • 1 nutmeg
  • rosemary

Recipe 

First, the onions. Sprinkle salt and black pepper on the julienned onions and rub them very well. Set them aside for now.

Place the beef slices on a large tray and sprinkle salt and ground black pepper on one side. Turn them over and do the same thing on the other side.

Place a frying pan on medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of virgin olive oil and one tablespoon of butter. Then add three cloves of garlic and some rosemary. Place the beef slices in the pan. This step is just about quickly stir-frying the beef. Once the slices turn golden brown on both sides, take them off the pan and leave the pan on the heat.

Add the julienned salted, peppered onions and stir them for a minute in the pan. Then combine the rest of the vegetables. Stir them until they are well mixed. Then add one tablespoon of tomato paste, salt, a little bit of sugar, and allspice, and also grind some nutmeg on top. Stir to well combine all the spices with the vegetables and let them cook for a couple of minutes.

Now that all the main ingredients are ready, let’s combine them. But first, preheat the oven to 180°C for at least 15-20 minutes.

Line a large oven tray with two pieces of aluminium foil that are double the size of the tray then place another two, twice as large pieces of parchment paper on top of the aluminium foil. These large pieces will be used to perfectly wrap the tray.

Add all the vegetables and evenly spread them on the tray. Then top them with the beef slices. Cover the tray first with the parchment paper and then with the aluminium foil. Press the aluminium foil so as to secure the tray. It should be completely wrapped.

Place the tray on the lower rack of the preheated oven. It should usually take around an hour to fully cook.

Once the sirloin is cooked, take it out of the oven and let it sit for around ten minutes. Interestingly, the wrapping is not to be removed until the tray is served on the dinner table.

This delicious sirloin recipe is usually served with vermicelli rice. You can find the recipe here.

And enjoy.

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