Onions like you've never seen them before... stuffed with ground beef and baked in a delicious tomato broth! This recipe is inspired by a very authentic and delicious Iraqi dish called "Sheikh Mahshi", which means "the best stuffed dish".
Traditionally, the dish is made by stuffing eggplant, zucchini, and onions. The eggplant and zucchini tend to be more time consuming than the onions, because they require hollowing out and also pre-frying. The onions on the other hand... so easy! Especially if you get the hang of separating the layers. It's easier than it sounds, I promise! *Psst - there's a stories highlight on my Instagram showing exactly how to do this!*
So here it is folks - a simplified version of an authentic dish that has been around forever in my culture. I'm sure whoever you're cooking this for will be wiping their plates clean.
For the Onions:
- 3 onions
- 1.5 lbs ground beef
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp allspice
- ½ tbsp cinnamon
- Salt & Pepper to taste
For the tomato broth:
- 400 ml can tomato sauce
- 1 and ¼ can water same can as tomato sauce
- ½ tbsp salt
- ¼ tbsp pepper
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- Start by finely dicing one of the onions and frying in the oil until translucent.
- Add the ground beef and cook for a few minutes until it turns brown. Season the mixture with the allspice, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust.
- Use the other 2 onions and separate their layers. To separate the layers, start by creating 2 shallow cuts to take off the top and bottom of the onion. Then create one deep cut running along the length of the onion from one side, all the way to the centre.
- Use this opening to slightly open apart the onion and carefully peel the layers and take them out.
- Once all onion layers are ready, stuff them about ¾ full and fold them closed, and lay them in a deep oven dish as pictured.
- Ensure that all onions are tightly packed together to avoid them opening when they cook.
- Mix all the tomato broth ingredients together and pour into the oven dish.
- Bake in the oven at 450F for about 1 hour covered, then bake for a further 10 minutes uncovered. Ensure onions are soft when ready.