Meurav Yerushalmi – Hebrew for Jerusalem Mixed Grill

Here is a recipe from a new Twitter friend, Elisse ~

Meurav Yerushalmi (Hebrew for Jerusalem Mixed Grill), in a perfect world, is eaten on Rechov Agrippas (Agrippas Street), near the Machne Yehuda Market in Jerusalem, at about 10p.m. on a Saturday night, while sitting at a small table on the sidewalk next to the kiosk from which the cook has just handed you your warm pita, filled to overflowing with the spicy grilled meats & onion, along with a bunch of paper napkins… I lived right off Agrippas for a long time, and when I was in the IDF and working at night as a barmaid, stopping late at night on the way home for a “hetzi meurav” (half a pita, stuffed to overflowing) was normal, and, like the youngish idiot I was, I took it for granted…  I recently had the joy of sharing this experience with my husband, and although we like to think of ourselves as world-traveled connoisseurs of street-food, neither hubby Chef Dan, nor I, have ever had anything like Meurav anywhere else; the mere thought of the scent of it wafting off the grill makes me drool… Simple to make, the elusive spice mixture was the problematic issue.

The recipes I pulled off the Internet (even on Israeli Hebrew-language sites) were woefully inadequate and utterly Wrong- they didn’t even come Near the taste of “real” Meurav! Other recipes I found had no measurements! After much Internet research, Facebooking, e-mailing, intenet shopping for spices & condiments, and taste-testing, I put together this recipe, which, we think, captures the essence of Meurav Yerushalmi…
Note: Meurav Yerushalmi is traditionally made with an assortment of organ meats, including beef, turkey, and chicken spleen, livers, hearts, kidneys, testicles, etc., as well as steak and chicken or turkey meat. Cut up into tiny little pieces and seasoned on the grill, it all tastes like steak! I made it using turkey thighs and inexpensive steak, both cut up in tiny pieces, and it worked great!

Meurav Yerushalmi Recipe

Ingredients:

– Meats: approx. 3 lbs chicken and/or turkey (thighs, legs, or breasts) and beef steak, cut into small pieces
– 3 onions, cut into small pieces (slightly larger than the meat pieces)
– Vegetable Oil
Pitas (Preferably regular “white bread” pita. The whole wheat ones are thinner and have a different texture…)
– Amba Sauce (A tart, fruity Israeli-Indian Jewish sauce made from green mangos). Amba is laborious to make yourself; the mangoes have to sit in salt for 5 days for a start! I purchase Israeli Amba from Avi Glatt, NY: http://www.aviglatt.com

Spice Mixture:

Note: the better & fresher the spices (fresh, coarsely ground black pepper, for example), the better the Meurav…

¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. ground turmeric
1 ½ tsp. ground cardamom
3/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 ½ tsp. curry powder
1 ½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp. ground coriander
4 ½ tsp. ground sumac (purchased on eBay from Stuart’s Spices, NY: http://www.stuartspices.com)
3 heaping tsp. crushed garlic
3 tsp. ground cumin
3 tsp. Kosher salt
¾ tsp. paprika
¾ tsp. ground chili powder
3 tsp. Baharat spice mixture (Lior Gourmet Spices from Israel, imported by Galil Foods, NY, purchased on http://www.amazon.com)

Traditional condiments:
Cracked Israeli Sura Olives (also purchased from Avi Glatt: http://www.aviglatt.com)
Pickled peppers (such as “Tuscan” peppers, and hot cherry peppers)
Sliced, fresh radishes
Kosher dill pickles (I like Mt. Olive “Petite Snack Cruncher Kosher Dills” best)

In a cast iron pan on medium heat (5, if your stove dial goes from 1 to 10), or on a grill pan, a la Machne Yehuda, heat vegetable oil and sauté the onions until soft. Just as the onions are beginning to brown, add the meat and the spices and start stirring & flipping with a spatula to coat the meat with the spices, and grill it until the meat is done. Turn the heat up to brown it at bit at the end.

Warm the pitas, cut in half and smear the insides with Amba.
Fill to the brim with Meurav, hot off the grill.
If desired, eat with, or top with, the cracked Sura olives, peppers, pickles, etc.

Holding the pita in your napkin-covered hands, close your eyes while you eat, imagining yourself on Rehov Agrippas…

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One thought on “Meurav Yerushalmi – Hebrew for Jerusalem Mixed Grill

  1. Thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed the recipe & I hope others enjoy making (and eating it), too! Meurav is truly one of the “great good street foods” of life, and it was fun to figure out how to make it at home at our Inn in West Virginia! (I actually taught Chef Dan how to make something! LOL)

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