Hummus with Spicy Beef

I had never before made hummus from dried chickpeas, and I can tell you that it was absolutely the silkiest, smoothest hummus I have ever had. This recipe is from Jerusalem (one of my favorite cookbooks); it calls for lamb (or you can substitute ground lamb) but I am not crazy about lamb so I used beef. And since I am extremely lazy, I purchased beef “for tacos” at my local ethnic store so it was already cut up into nice small pieces. The amount of tahini you use is up to you; I made two batches- one following the recipe and one using 1/2 the amount of tahini and personally, I liked it with 1/2 cup of tahini better. Serve with pita bread.

Spiced Beef
Pine Nuts, toasted in a small skillet with a little butter
Lemon-Parsley Sauce

For the hummus:
1 1/4 cups (250 g) dried chickpes
1 t baking soda
1/2 cup – 1 cup tahini (depending upon your preference)
6 T lemon juice
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 T ice water
2 t salt
Cover the hummus with water in a large pot and soak overnight. The next day, drain the chickpeas; cover with a lot of water and the baking soda. Bring to a boil, skimming off foam, flotsam and jetsam. Simmer for between 30-40 minutes until they are very tender, breaking easily. Mine got a little mushy but it didn’t seem to affect the taste. Drain. Process chickpeas in the food processor while still hot until a paste forms. With the machine running, add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Lastly, drizzle in the ice water and allow it to mix for several minutes. Transfer to bowl.

For the meat:
1 lb beef or lamb, finely chopped
1/8 t each white pepper and black pepper
1 t ground allspice
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 t zatar
1 T white vinegar
1 t salt
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
Mix all ingredients together except the butter and olive oil and allow meat to marinate overnight.
Heat half the olive oil and butter in a large skillet; add half the meat and fry quickly for a couple minutes. Repeat with remaining half. Transfer to a bowl.

For the lemon sauce:
1 bunch parsley, washed well and chopped
1 green chile, finely chopped
4 T lemon juice
2 T white vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1/4 t salt
Mix all ingredients.

Spread some hummus across small individual size plates or one large serving platter; top with the meat (and its accumulated juices); drizzle some of the lemon-parsley sauce over that and scatter some pine nuts. Drizzle with good quality extra-virgin olive oil and serve with warm pita bread. SO SO SO good!

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