Ouzie

Depending on which Middle Eastern country you're from, Ouzie is either rice and meat stuffed in puff pastry, or just rice with meat and nuts. Palestinian or Jordanian ouzie is an amazing spiced rice dish topped with meat and nuts, usually served as a main dish. I've also seen it served as a side dish next to a whole lamb or even stuffed in the lamb. Syrian ouzie is spiced rice and meat stuffed in a puff pastry ball and baked to perfection. 

I always used to think that this dish was super complicated to make because I only saw how my grandma makes it. She's a super woman and using ready puff pastry is out of the question for her, so she chooses to make the dough at home. Yeah, I'm not at that level of cooking yet. 

But, there's always an easier way, right? Right! 

I called my mom to see if she had any recipes for ouzie and she's like yes, I make it with puff pastry. Genius!! When she told me that, ouzie became a regular dish on my dinner table because ready puff pastry shortens the prep time (and makes my life easier). Win, win! 

You have two choices. You can either make the rice and serve it as is, or make the rice with the puff pastry. Either option is amazing, and I've made the rice without puff pastry on many, many occasions (usually when I forget to buy the puff pastry squares). 

The rice is very basic: long grain or basmati rice cooked in a meat broth, with your choice of either beef or lamb stew, spices, and peas! That's it. 

Stuffing the rice in the puff pastry is super easy. Stretch each puff pastry about an inch on each side. Divide the rice equally among the puff pastry, then fold each corner into the center, making sure none of the rice is showing, and flip over. Line your ouzie on a baking sheet, bake, and serve!

Ouzie is amazing served with a cucumber and yogurt salad on the side! Sahtain :) 

Ouzie 

Servings: 10 ouzie 

Prep Time: 20 minutes 

Cook Time: 60 minutes 

Ingredients: 

Meat: 

1 pound beef stew, cut into 1/2 pieces 

8 cloves 

8 whole cardamom pods 

2 Bay leaves 

4 cinnamon sticks

1/2 white onion, halved 

Rice:

1.5 cups Basmati, or long grain, rice 

6 tablespoons vegetable oil 

1.5 teaspoons salt 

1 teaspoon sweet spice or 7 spice

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon black pepper 

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

2.5 cups broth (reserved from the meat) 

1 cup frozen peas 

Puff pastry squares (sold in packs of 10) 

Directions: 

1) Rinse the rice well then place in a medium bowl and cover with warm water. Soak for 20-30 minutes. Drain well. Set aside. 

2) In a pressure cooker, combine beef stew, cloves, cardamom pods, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and onion. Cover with about 5 cups of water. 

3) Cook on medium high heat for 25 minutes, after the pressure cooker begins to whistle. 

4) Once the meat is fully cooked, let the pressure cooker release all of the air. Reserve the beef broth. Set meat aside. 

5) In a pot, combine beef broth, vegetable oil, salt, sweet spice, cardamom, black pepper, ground clove, and peas. Bring to a boil on medium heat. 

6) Once the broth mixture has come to a boil, add rice and cooked meat, and stir. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes on medium-low heat, until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid. Let the rice cool completely. 

7) Separate the puff pastry. Stretch each puff pastry about an inch on each side. Divide the rice equally among the puff pastry, then fold each corner into the center, making sure none of the rice is showing, and flip over.

8) Line your ouzie on a baking sheet. 

9) Preheat your oven to 350F. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top of the puff pastry is a golden brown. 

Notes: 

- If you prefer to use lamb stew, you can easily substitute it for the beef stew. 

- If you want to prep this ahead of time, you can the rice ahead of time and keep in the fridge for one day. Then, stuff it into the puff pastry the day of serving.