> > > > >

Smen



Smen is an aged butter made throughout Middle East, particularly in Morocco. It turned the necessity of preserving butter in warm climates into a culinary creation.

It smells like a stinky cheese, and is used in small amounts as a condiment for flavour, particularly in couscous and in tangine dishes, and in some pastries.

To make Smen, clarified butter, dried herbs and salt are put in small earthenware pots. Some additional flavouring such as cinnamon may be added; some additional body such as a bit of semolina may be used. It is then stored in a cool, dry place to mature. Sometimes, it is even sealed and aged for years, even buried under ground.

The butter will have started off being made from milk from sheep, goats, buffalo milk (in Egypt), or cow.

Cooking Tips

Melt 1/2 pound (250 g) unsalted butter. Put 1 teaspoon dried oregano in a tea ball, or tied up in cheesecloth, add to butter, gently simmer for about 25 minutes or until butter is clarified (the butter will go clear, with a white layer on the bottom.) Skim off any foam using the edge of a piece of paper towelling, discard the oregano, and strain the butter through a double layer of cheesecloth. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a clean container, ideally sterilized. Cover and refrigerate. Let age for at least 2 weeks before using, and use up within 6 months. If you use salted butter, omit the salt.

Equivalents

1 part butter, 1 part olive oil

Please share this information with your friends. They may love it.


Also called:

Samneh; Semneh; Sman; Smeun; Beurre ranci (French)

Comments

You may also like:

logo

Bon mots

"Let's get out of these wet clothes and into a dry martini."

-- Robert Benchley (American humorist. 15 September 1889 – 21 November 1945)

Food Calendar

food-calendar-icon
A calendar tracking what happens when in the world of food.
  • food day iconSt David's Day (Today)
    St David is the patron saint of Wales. He is reputed to have had his soldiers attach leeks to their caps so they could distinguish themselves from their enemies.
  • food day iconWakefield Festival of Rhubarb (Today)
    Wakefield Festival of Rhubarb is an 8 day festival that started in 1999. It is held starting at the end of January or the beginning of February.

Myth of the Day

Myth Picture Read more >