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Hummus with Lamb Merguez

Updated: Mar 8, 2021

Hummus is a big deal in the city I grew up in. Infact, I would dare to say it is practiced in my city of birth as no less than a religion. I grew up in the city of Acre, an ancient town situated at the very toot of the Eastern Mediterranean sea. Among Acre the city's extensive history and old walls taking you back centuries in time, it is also known as the 'Hummus Capital' of Israel.

 
 

Growing up in the city of Acre, everyone has his/hers favorite Hummus place, which is typically endorsed by your entire family, and handed over to you as part of your personal heritage. Hummus, and the Hummus place you favor is similar to a sports team or political party you follow, and many disputes (friendly and no so...) had been known to erupt ever so often.


So needless to say I felt quite hesitant to make this video, carrying all this heritage and history, knowing I will be severely judged by family and friends back in my old town of Acre. That said, the 'Moto' behind this blog namesake, stands for bravery, guts and conquering that which you fear the most. So I stepped up and this just that, with a few tips and twists that I just could resist sharing and exploring with you all.


This is my version of Hummus with meat, The hummus dish that is the crown of all Hummus dishes in Acre, traditionally using Lamb meat and fat topping an incredibly smooth and creamy hummus, enjoyed with fresh baked pita bread.

So Let's do this...

 

Ingredients:


For the Hummus:

  • 1.5 Cups dried garbanzo beans

  • 1/2 Tsp baking soda

  • 6 Cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 1/4 Cup lemon juice (Juice from 1-2 lemons depending on size))

  • 1/2 Tsp ground cumin

  • 1/4 Cup raw tahini. Use a brand you stand by or check my Tahini recipe for suggested brands: Tahini Recipe

  • 1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 Tsp kosher salt

For the Lamb Merguez:

  • 1 Tbsp lamb fat (or schmaltz or extra virgin olive oil if you can't find Lamb fat)

  • 1 Tbsp neutral oil

  • 1 Lb. ground lamb shoulder. You are looking for a cut of meat that has fat, 80-20 ratio.

  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • 1Tsp Tsp ground cumin

  • 1 Tsp ground coriander

  • 1 Tsp sweet paprika

  • 1/2 Tsp ground cardamom

  • 1 Tbsp harissa (homemade or store bought). Homemade is always better in my opinion and if you have the time. Here's a link to my quick Harissa recipe: Harissa Recipe

  • 2 Tbsp Tahini sauce. Here's a link to my quick Tahini sauce recipe: Tahini Recipe

 

Step 1

Make the Hummus

  • In a large bowl combine the garbanzo beans, baking soda, and 6 cups water (filtered or bottled) and set aside overnight (at least for 12 hours).

  • Then drain and rinse the chickpeas, which should have doubled in size.

  • Add the chickpeas to a mid size pot, adding 1/2 adding 1/2 Tsp baking soda and 6 cups water (filtered or bottled)

  • Bring to boil over high heat, using a slotted spoon to remove foam and skins that will surface to the top.

Note:

The more skins you remove, the creamier hummus texture you will end up with

  • Reduce heat to medium low, cover with lid and continue to cook for 1 hr. until the chickpeas are falling apart tender to the touch.

  • Strain liquid reserving at leas 1 cup of the liquid, and transfer chickpeas into a food processor.

Susu Tip:

You now have excellent AquaFaba. A vegan substitute for white eggs, which you can easily whip out using a hand mixer. You can use it to make vegan mayo, waffles, macaroons... the internet is full of great ideas and delicious recipes.


Garlic lemon juice

  • This is a known trick used by Hummus cooks all over the Middle East. It's a way to infuse garlic flavor without overpowering the hummus.

  • Start by mincing 6-8 garlic cloves (depending on size)

  • Then transfer to a small bowl

  • Top with juice from 1-2 lemons. The Lemon Juice needs just to cover the minced garlic

  • Set aside fro 20-30min for flavors to infuse.

  • Then strain liquid and reserve for use

Purée

  • Purée the chickpeas on medium speed in the food processor for 5 minutes. Use a table spoon of the reserved liquid if necessary.

  • While the food processor is still on, add 1/4 cup reserved liquid and the Garlic-lemon juice, salt, and cumin. Process until the mixture is very smooth (2 min)

  • Then slowly pour in the raw tahini and then the oil (you can use either Neutral or Olive oil) and continue to mix for another 2 min.

  • The hummus should be light and airy. It’s best served warm that day but can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Step 2

The Lamb Merguez

  • In a bowl combine ground lamb with spices and mix well, Then set aside for 15min allowing the flavors to penetrate and develop.

  • Add the oil to a heavy-bottomed midsize pan over high heat, then add the lamb fat, melting the fat until it’s smoking.

  • Add the lamb, breaking it apart into an even layer, searing the meat and stirring occasionally with minimum interruption, enabling the meat to caramelize (8-10min).

  • When all the juices have evaporated from the pot and you are left with the oil from the lamb fat, add the tomato paste and the Harissa.

  • Break the tomato paste and harissa into the meat, stirring and allowing it to reduce for 2-3 minutes.

  • Then add the chicken stock and scrap the find stuck to the surface of the pan (Flavor!).

  • Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes stirring the meat coating it with the sauce.

  • Check for seasoning then remove from heat.

Step 3

Plating

I like to form what is called a 'well' in the middle of a mid size plate, which allow the meat, tahini, and all other toppings to sit in the center of the plate engulfed by the creamy hummus. The video shows my technique that you may need to practice once or twice to perfect, but otherwise you can just liberally scoop the hummus on the plate.


  • Place 3-4 Full Tables Spoons of Hummus in the center of the plate and spread it around the plate, making a 'well' in the center.

  • Add 2 Tbsp Tahini sauce in the center

  • Top with 1-2 Tbsp of the Lamb Merguez

  • Drizzle with the Merguez sauce and olive oil

  • Finish with Toasted pinenuts and chopped parsley

Enjoy with Hot pita bread or... peeled onion. What??... let me explain


If you may have some concerns with your carb intake, here's a solution... peeled onion. I know, it sounds weird but believe me when I say it is awesome, and I actually prefer to enjoy the hummus this way.

  • All you need is to peel an onion to its cut and cut the peels to bite size shape (allowing for the Hummus scooping action)

  • Transfer onion peels to a small bow and cover with water, allowing it sit for 15-20min. This will mellow the onion taste and smell.

  • Drain dry, then use the peel instead of pita bread, scooping the hummus Carb worry free.

Bon Appétit