Meat Loaf in Tray


        2 1/2 Ibs. Iamb or beef
        1 1/2 tsp. salt
        1/2 tsp. pepper
        3/4 Cup samneh (or other shortening)
        1 cup fresh tomato juice, or
        1 tsp. tomato paste diluted in one cup water
        1 cup chopped onions
        1 egg white
Kafta is classical in the Lebanese cuisine. This is an old recipe but its appeal is the same today as yesterday.

Grind meat through the fine blade of meat grinder several times until it is almost pasty. (In Lebanon the meat is pounded to a pasty consistency in a mortar and pestle). Now pass the ground meat through the food chopper several times with the chopped onions until thoroughly blended. Add salt and pepper. Spread meat mixture evenly about one inch thick on a large baking pan. Bake in moderate oven until lightly browned. Spread the samneh (or other shortening) over the meat and continue baking until well browned. Add tomato juice and bake until half the juice is absorbed. At this point Lebanese cooks place the pan on top of the stove to finish cooking. The sauce must be almost entirely absorbed. Cut into squares to serve. Accompany with fried or mashed potatoes, cooked vegetables and a green salad.

(From Food from the Arab World Marie Karam Khayat and Margaret Clark Keatinge, Khayat's, Beirut 1959)