This is comfort food at its finest: Lebanese street food prepared using traditional techniques with modern dude-food flair. You’ll need a mincer for this recipe. In a pinch, buy minced lamb and blend the remaining ingredients in a food processor until smooth, then mix together.
- 250 g Kewpie mayonnaise (see note)
- 1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
- vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- 300 g frozen French fries
- 2 tbsp pickled chillies, chopped
- 20 mint sprigs, torn
- 20 coriander sprigs, torn
- 20 g dry yeast
- 400 ml lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 625 g baker’s flour (see note)
- 10 g salt
Lahem arjine (lamb filling)
- 500 g boneless lamb shoulder
- 500 g tomatoes, quartered, seeds removed
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 bird’s eye chilli
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp red Aleppo pepper
- 1 tbsp sun-dried capsicum paste
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Proving time 20 minutes
To prepare the dough, combine the yeast, water and olive oil in a bowl and stir to dissolve.
Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Set the mixer to slow then gradually add the water mixture to the flour. Once the dough begins to come together, increase the speed to medium and mix for 5–8 minutes or until smooth. Cut the dough into 120 g balls and place on a floured tray. Cover and allow to prove in a warm place for about 20–30 minutes or until doubled in size.
To make the lahem arjine, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. Push the mixture through the finest disk of a mincer. Cover and refrigerate until required.
Combine the mayonnaise and preserved lemon and transfer to a squeeze bottle. Refrigerate until required.
Preheat the oven and a pizza stone to 220°C.
On a lightly floured work surface, flatten the balls with your hands. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball out to a 20 cm round, about 2 mm thick. When you can almost see through the dough, it’s a good thickness. Working with one pizza at a time, spread with enough lahem arjine to just cover the base. The topping should be thin, flat and as even as possible. Slide the pizza directly onto the stone and cook for 5–7 minutes or until the base is crisp and golden around the edges.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep fryer or deep saucepan to 180°C. Add the fries to the oil and deep-fry for 4–5 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towel.
To assemble, drizzle each pizza generously with mayonnaise. Top with a small handful of fries and some pickled chillies, then scatter with the herbs. Roll carefully to enclose. Serve immediately.
• Kewpie is a brand of Japanese mayonnaise available from some supermarkets and some Asian grocery stores.
• Baker’s flour has a higher content of protein than standard white flour, making it perfect for making bread and pizza dough.