Sima - The Jerusalem Mixed Grill Par Excellence

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Sima - The Jerusalem Mixed Grill Par Excellence

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sun May 23, 2010 4:25 pm

In the thread about Jerusalem restaurants at viewtopic.php?f=30&t=29318&start=24 Anthony Silverbrow comments about his visit to Jerusalem's Sima and asks for a recipe for the renowned Me'urav Yerushalmi (mixed Jerusalem grill).

As to Sima, quite a few of us recall the days, not that long ago when Sima had a dark, almost gloomy atmosphere and boasted five small tables inside, a few stools at the counter and several rickety tables and chairs set on the sidewalk. Even though Sima in those days was best described as shabby, the place was always packed, the vast majority of people gravitating here for many dishes but knowing full well that the dish not to be missed was the mixed Jerusalem grill. Prime ministers, Knesset members, gangsters, whores, policemen and even real people came here for Sima's mixed grill was not only good – it was godlike.

Sima has become a bit fancified in recent years. I believe some of the tables in the now larger place even have tablecloths. What has not changed however is the large flat grill on which talented men of various ages (ranging from 14 to 80) make your Jerusalem grill fresh on the spot for you. What has also changed is that the owners zealously guard the secret combination of spices that they use when making this culinary delight. In discussions (and believe me, I have been trying to get the precise recipe for more than 25 years), one of the owners reveals only the obvioius – that he uses allspice, black pepper, cumin, turmeric and coriander. With a smile he also tells me that they also use something known as "Georgian pepper".

That there is not a living soul within five thousand kilometers who can identify this mysterious seasoning is more than mere coincidence. Whatever the secret ingredient, this is marvelous fare and a huge portion of the truly excellent me'urav yerushalmi packed into a pita, and served with small but adequate side-dishes of really good coleslaw, pickles, olives, Turkish salad and a soft drink or beer will cost well under ten dollars, surely one of the best values for money to be found anywhere on the planet.

The following is as close as I can come to the real recipe….. When I do prepare it I used the heaviest, most grease impregnated black cast iron skillet that I have but (with a sigh) nothing, not even mine is anywhere near as good as that you will eat from a pita bread while leaning over table or bar at Sima and hoping that whatever does drip out will not drip onto your shirt or blouse.


Jerusalem Mixed Grill
Me'urav Yerushalmi

2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 medium onions, sliced and separated into rings
1/2 lb. (225 gr.) chicken livers, cut into large dice
1/2 lb. (225 gr.) each chicken hearts and chicken spleens, halved
1 lb. (225 gr.) cooked fatty lamb, cut into small dice
6 - 8 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
1 tsp. each ground turmeric, cumin and coriander
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
pita bread for serving
humous for serving (optional)

In a large heavy skillet heat the oil and in this saute the
onions just until they begin to become translucent. Add the meat,
garlic, spices and salt and pepper and continue to saute until the
meat is tender. Serve with pita bread and, if desired, humous.


Or if you're in Jerusalem, Sima is at Rehov Agripas 82, Jerusalem. Open Sun-Friday 10 a.m. - 1 a.m. Closed but closed on Friday night and Shabbat. Kosher.
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Re: Sami - The Jerusalem Mixed Grill Par Excellence

Postby Anthony Silverbrow » Sun May 23, 2010 4:56 pm

Many thanks Rogov

Just to check though, it's Sima rather than Sami (as per the title) isn't it?

Also, do they serve lamb in theirs? I know there are the gizzards, the hearts, the livers but hadn't realised there was lamb. I thought there was some other offally bit though.e
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Re: Sima - The Jerusalem Mixed Grill Par Excellence

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sun May 23, 2010 5:10 pm

Anthony, Hi....


My goof and corrected - another case of the fingers working faster than the brain. Sami actuallly exists and is the place across the street from Sima. My own favorite remains, by far, Sima.

As to the recipe, that's about as close as I can get without kidnapping and starving one of the owners for a week or so until he reveals his secrets.

Oh yes....also to mention, several butcher shops and even a few supermarkets around the country offer their versions of Jerusalem mixed grill. Some of those come fresh, others frozen but in my opinion those are to be avoided much as one would avoid the black plague. If you've got to to do it, do it at home starting with freshest ingredients you can find.

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Re: Sima - The Jerusalem Mixed Grill Par Excellence

Postby Anthony Silverbrow » Mon May 24, 2010 3:05 am

Thanks Rogov

Would it be guilding the proverbial lilly to use schmaltz rather than olive oil as your frying liquid?
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Re: Sima - The Jerusalem Mixed Grill Par Excellence

Postby Daniel Rogov » Mon May 24, 2010 3:30 am

Anthony, Hi...


The use of schmaltz (rendered goose, duck or chicken fat) might be a nice touch indeed. Makes me smile merely to think of it.

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