Ali's Lamb Pastillas

In the Kitchen

Ali whipped up these delicious morsels using some leftover lamb.

"Gave this a go on the weekend after having leftover lamb. This would work well with leftover roast chicken too! You could serve with a nice greek salad."

- Ali Leonard.

Ingredients:

  • 50g (1⁄3 cup) couscous
  • 50ml (1⁄3 cup) boiling water
  • a drizzle of olive oil, for frying
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 130-150g (5-6 oz.) leftover cooked lamb, shredded finely
  • 30g (2 tbsp.) feta cheese
  • 30g (2 tbsp.) sultanas
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 sheets of filo pastry
  • olive oil or melted butter, for brushing

    For the topping:
  • flaked almonds
  • sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp icing sugar mixed with 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon

    For the dip:
  • 4 tbsp. Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp. rose harissa
  • a drizzle of olive oil

Method:

1. Pour the boiling water over the couscous, cover with cling film and leave for 10 minutes.

2. In the meantime, heat up the olive oil in a pan large enough to fit the onion, garlic and the lamb. Add the spices and garlic and cook gently until it only just starts to sizzle and swirl. Add the onion and cook for 10-15 minutes until soft. Add the lamb and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

4. Transfer the lamb mixture to a large bowl or use the pan you cooked it in, if large enough. Crumble in the feta cheese, add the couscous fluffed up with a fork, the sultanas and season very well with salt and pepper. Set aside.

5. Place a sheet of filo on a wooden board, keep the other sheets rolled up and covered with a tea towel to stop from drying out. Brush the pastry sheet with olive oil or butter (the latter makes it more crispy).

6. Place a quarter of the filling alongside the shorter, bottom edge which should be closest to you (turn the board around if it isn’t). Roll it up a third way up, fold the sides over the filling and continue rolling up like a cigar.

7. Place the pastilla, seam side down, on the prepared tray and cover with another tea towel while you roll up the remaining ones.

When you are ready to bake brush with melted butter or oil,sprinkle with almond flakes and sesame, and sift the cinnamon icing sugar over each one.

9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crispy and golden.

10. In the meantime prepare the dip: place the yoghurt in a small bowl, drizzle with olive oil and spoon the harissa into the middle. Swirl into a ripple with a small spoon, without mixing it through.