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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

A Childhood Favorite: Lubyee Bi Lahmi

Last night, when I made this, D had asked, "What's for dinner?" "Dad's favorite from when he was a kid," I answered. Without looking up, he said, "Oh, okay. Lubyee." Yep!

There's a story behind this dish for me... as I have always told the boys: "This dish was one of your Daddy's favorites when he was a little kid. And when Daddy and I were getting married, Aunt Jenn had a party for me...called a 'bridal shower.' She asked guests to give me copies of their favorite recipes. And because Grandma knew that Daddy loved this dish, she wrote out the recipe and sent it to me."

I always make adaptations based on what I have, so it's more inspired by Jake's childhood favorite. As an example, I usually use chunks of lamb; this time, I decided to try ground lamb. But it's recognizable enough that two people who grew up with him knew immediately what it was. Deb wrote: "My best guess is that is lamb meat made into a LEBANESE GREEN BEAN STEW (we called it LOUBee) If this is that, we typically would make Syrian bread, Greek yogurt and Tabbouleh salad on the side.

Bea's grandmother Wilda taught me and several others at home how to cook this meal---- it is sooooooooo goood. This meal is a huge favorite of my brother David too." And Bea chimed in that it looked like her grandmother's recipe. Yes, yes! This is based on Wilda's recipe.

D commented that it needed harissa. So, I stirred that into the sauce. This would go well with Manakeesh or Pita.


  • olive oil

  • 1 onion, peeled and diced

  • 2 to 3 stalks celery, diced

  • 1 pound ground lamb

  • 3/4 cup diced tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • 1 Tablespoon harissa

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" lengths

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Also needed: rice for serving


In a large, flat-bottom pan, heat the olive oil and cook the onions and celery until softened and beginning to caramelize. Add in the ground lamb and cook until fully browned. Stir in the herbs, cinnamon, and harissa.

Pour in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine, and stock. Bring to a boil, then cover, and simmer for 20 minutes to let the flavors fully meld. Add in the green beans and cook until the beans are just beginning to soften. You don't want them mushy! It should take approximately 6 or 7 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a scoop of rice.

A Red Wine Pairing

I poured a bottle of 2021 red wine blend from one of my favorite wineries , Donkey & Goat. Hobbes is named after their new winery dog. Made with 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, this was harvested in September 2021, macerated for a between two and four weeks, and fermented with wild yeasts and bacteria in wood tank, concrete, and amphora. Then it's aged in neutral French oak and bottled in August 2022.

This red wine blend is delicious. With aromas of red and black fruit, there are also earthy layers of redwood duff, tobacco, and warm spices. On the palate, the fruit lingers with velvety tannins and a punch of bright acidity. This is a California take on an Old World Bordeaux and it's was a gorgeous pairing with the Lubyee.

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