Meat and Poultry in Israel

Israel has a strong connection with its history. Compared with other countries, it’s also ancient history. From those times people ate and ate good, especially meat. And there is more of course, there is the current surrounding of Israel wit the Arab and Muslim influences on Israel and specially its kitchen. Meat! In all forms and tastes, from exotic till tender meat, you can eat it here.

During our tours, we let the people choose their menu beforehand about what they want to eat. We have prepared menus for them to choose from and they can ask specific food or meat they find on this site when it’s not on the menu. And we will simply deliver it. It’s all included in the tour.

  1. Bedouin Mansaf Risotto (10/19/2016) - Normally, this Bedouin dish is prepared with dried yogurt or buttermilk (jmeed). In Jordan this is almost a national dish, because this is a communal dish (everyone comes to eat when you make it, family, neighbors and friends) and a great symbol of generosity that is often served on special occasions. The way how you eat it is with your right hand, the meat is torn apart and rolled into a ball, which you dip into the yogurt. Instead of Jmeed, you can use Greek yogurt instead. Some call this dish also the so called Bedouin Pizza.
  2. Chickpea flour Quiche (10/19/2016) - Cumin, lamb and chickpeas belong to heaven, and no more so than in this North African quiche-like dish, sold along the streets of eastern Morocco and western Algeria by the slice, sandwiched in a baguette, and available with the Palestinians and even now they start to appear in the Israeli streets. You can really go wild with this recipe and play with caramelized onions, goat’s cheese, shredded artichokes, spinach, bacon, olives and much more ... the sky is the limit. Some people prefer this dry, others more wet and wobbly. You can replace the milk with water if you want.
  3. Eggplant-wrapped fingers a la Fantasia (10/19/2016) - This recipe is the Middle Eastern version of involtinis or in Arabic lisan el qadi, which means “tongue of the judge”. Long, thin slices of aubergine/eggplant (or something else like lettuce) are rolled to wrap the meat. The name is inspired by the fact that Iraqis dislike rice and prefers meat meat that a noble judge would always expect his food to be served with meat rather than rice.
  4. Freekeh with Lamb and Rhubarb (10/19/2016) - A succulent dish of slow-cooked lamb with freekeh, a grain made from young wheat, and rhubarb, which is eaten as a vegetable in savory dishes in the Lebanon, Israel, West Bank, Gaza, Jordan and Egypt. An d the beauty of this dish is its versatility; you can switch to chicken or vegetables if you please.
  5. Grilled Goose Liver with Potatoes (10/14/2016) - You see tahina being used in Lebanese, Armenian, Greek, Cypriot, Iranian, Israeli, Palestinian, Turkish, Iraqi, Levantine, North African and Bulgarian cuisines for thousands of years, but the first Israeli settlers in 1948 uses tahina in combination with roasted potatoes, onions and Goose liver. The same recipe is used whenever young people gather around a campfire.
  6. Iranian Lamb and Herb Stew – Ghormeh-e Sabzi (10/19/2016) - One of the most popular dishes for Iranians is the Iranian Lamb and Herb Stew, which they call Ghormeh-e Sabzi. This dish is a splendid testimony to the Persian love of herbs and fragrance, and is a harmonious melange of texture and flavor. For an equally fulfilling vegetarian option, double the kidney bean portion to make up for the absent lamb. When the Persians were invading the lands of Israel, they brought also this dish to the people. When they finally left, they left behind the recipe. Today you can eat this in Iranian restaurants.
  7. Jewish Stew with Slow-cooked Meat and Bean Casserole with Bread Patties and Rice and Variations (10/14/2016) - The Jewish religion allows no work on the Sabbath, which lasts from sundown on Friday until Saturday night. Consequently, for centuries, throughout the Jewish world, the traditional Sabbath luncheon dish has been an oven-simmered pot of beans and meat and other additions that could be placed in the baker's oven before sundown on Friday and brought home to eat after the Sabbath morning prayers. The dish differed from culture to culture and from country to country wherever Jews made their homes.
  8. Kebab Recipes from Israel (10/14/2016) - One finds three different sorts of kebabs in Israel: Romanian, Bulgarian, and Arab. The difference between the Romanian and Bulgarian versions is small. Romanians add baking soda and garlic to the mixture, making their kebabs spongy and bouncier than those of the Bulgarians, which are soft and delicate. Arab kebabs are prepared with lamb chopped by hand together with onions, parsley, and other herbs. Pine nuts are often added as well. Kebabs of all kinds must be juicy, which means fatty. The meat should contain at least 20 percent fat, which, fortunately, mostly disappears into the open fire over which it grills. In Christian Arab cities like Bethlehem and Nazareth, the owner-chef will prepare the kebab directly in front of the customer, chopping and mixing to taste.
  9. King of Stews, the Cholent (10/14/2016) - Its name is Cholent and is a Jewish dish designed to provide a Saturday lunchtime meal for a family at a time of the week when, because of Sabbath restrictions on what work can be done, no lighting of fires or stoves is allowed from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. It is a slow-cooked beef stew and is put on the stove on a Friday afternoon and taken off the heat and served on a Saturday lunchtime.
  10. Lamb Rice with Crispy Potato (10/19/2016) - This is an adoption of the layered rice recipe known as Istambooli Polow. At first glance it does sound like a carb-on-carb sin, with its combination of potato and rice, but don’t judge it until you have tried it. Turkey also works well instead of lamb. The origin of the recipe is Turkey and it's served there already for hundreds of years in all kind of variations. In Israel this dish is also available mainly in Turkish restaurants.
  11. Lamb stuffed in Caramelized Onions (10/19/2016) - This dish is Iraqi and variations are by definition a default So many Israeli Arabs make their own version of this excellent dish. It’s important to use large onions because the layers have more surface area, making them more suited for stuffing and rolling. The number of onions required will vary depending on how many layers you can get out of each onion. If you like them more meltingly soft, you can cook them for a little longer. The dolmas are easy to make, but you do need to make sure the onions are blanched enough to be very pliable. The stuffed onions are usually cooked with other dolmas, such as Vine Leaves with Bulgur, Figs & Nuts but never cabbage leaves, as they’re too similar in appearance to onions, potentially confusing diners.
  12. Maqluba, meat, rice, fried vegetables and Yogurt! (10/14/2016) - Maqluba is a traditional Arab dish of chicken or meat (mostly lamb), mixed with fried vegetables and then cooked in layers with rice. When the dish is finished and ready to serve, it is turned out from the pot in which it was cooked onto a serving plate, resembling a large brown cake of rice. The potatoes, added on top of the pot, end up on the bottom. You can find Maqluba in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey, as well as within Arab population centers in Israel.
  13. Meaty Ratatouille (10/19/2016) - Think of this as a Lebanese relative of ratatouille, if you like. It’s about using fresh produce from the garden or market, as available, and layering them in a pot. You can go as chunky or as fine as you like. Just make sure the aubergine/eggplant is cut into larger pieces, as they cook the fastest. The kind of tomatoes you use here are important so do taste and adjust, adding more or less tomato purée/paste for color and richness when needed. You can find this dish in restaurants in the north of Israel.
  14. Musakhan – Roasted Chicken with Onions and Sumach on Pita Bread (10/14/2016) - Musakhan (=browned during additional baking) is a Palestinian dish, which is developed in Nablus over the years and is a good example of the influence of various occupying powers on the local cuisine. Crusaders loved meat and fowl and they often ate meats on a flat bread. The bread absorbed the juices of the meat, which made it soft and juicy. They especially appreciated the local herbs and prices and used them on all of their meals in the Holy Land in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
  15. Roasted Goat (or Lamb) with Potatoes (10/14/2016) - This recipe is for the Middle East, where many people eat goat (and lamb), and for the people celebrating the orthodox Easter, which is normally celebrated with lamb in Greece and Bulgaria. Easter is a very sacred and significant holiday celebrated throughout the world. As tradition, on Holy Saturday, we marinade and prepare the lamb for the next day. They usually roast a lamb or a baby goat (the meat is a lot more tender) while family and friends gather around and drink wine during the day on Sunday. Other only roast legs of the lamb. This is a super simple recipe and the marinade is delicious. The meat is extremely tender and falls off the bone.
  16. Shabbos Stew (10/14/2016) - This recipe has been in Jewish families for many years. And the Shabbos Stew within a full Jewish dinner would start with chicken soup, and the main course was almost always the same: Shabbos Stew (or cholent), sometimes served with apple sauce or fruit compote. Dessert was poppy seed cookies, sponge cake or apple slab.
  17. Slow Cooked Israeli Chicken (10/14/2016) - This recipe will feed you for days. The potatoes and chicken are cooked slowly in a deep, rich, spicy sauce. The chicken will become so tender and the mixture of spices create a distinct taste that is wonderful on its own or served over rice. This recipe is initially based on the Cholent recipe, but here are the variations with totally different ingredients and of course no beans.
  18. Soprito, Simmered Beef or Lamb with Potatoes with Variations (10/14/2016) - The soprito is a long, slow-cooking Sephardic dish of beef or lamb in water. The result is meat that is browned, soft, and almost falling apart. The accompanying potatoes are softly browned as well and infused with the tasty juices of the meat. But some say it's an Italian dish! This dish and recipe is popular in Israel, so it appears here.
  19. Spiced Lamb flatbread Pizzas (10/19/2016) - Although these are known by Armenians as missahatz, by Turks as lahmacun and by the Lebanese as lahm b’ajeen, the basic idea is the same: spread meat on bread. The best flatbread pizza I’ve ever had, second to this recipe of course, was at an Armenian bakery called Furn Ikhshanian, in Zokak el Blat, a district of Beirut. The reason for this was their paper-thin and crispy dough. Flatbread pizzas belong to the Manaquiche family, and while Manaquiche are considered a breakfast food, they are enjoyed throughout the day, and there is a predominant after-club culture of tucking into these after a heavy night out! They’re best when washed down with some savory yogurt shake. And you know what? They are also available in Israel! At the markets and at certain (Lebanese and Turkey's) restaurants.
  20. The Middle Eastern Hamburger with Baked Kafta (10/19/2016) - Kafta is the Middle East’s version of hamburger meat. It can be shallow-fried, molded onto skewers for barbecuing or baked with vegetables, as here. I prefer the texture of the kafta when it’s mixed by hand, but if you want to use a food processor, create the paste first in it before adding the meat. Pulse for 2 minutes, but be sure not to overwork the meat or it will be tough. For another type of kafta, try Herbed Kafta with Dukkah Tahini.

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