crispy moroccan lamb pastillas

It seems my love of lamb and treating it with spices has not raised its hands and waved them about completely unnoticed (I wonder if the several lamb entries in my Top 10 Things to Eat in Istanbul had anything to do with this..). So much so that the nice folk at Jamie Oliver HQ have been kind enough to send over a pretty awesome sounding recipe from this coming Monday’s episode of Money Saving Meals for me to share with you all. They’ve even given me a gorgeous shot of it too.

So here you have it, hot off the press, here on this humble blog before being published on JamieOliver.com and before its TV airing on October 30th, I present to you something wonderfully fitting for Monday and a perfect way to use up leftover lamb from Sunday, Jamie’s brand-spanking-new recipe for crispy Moroccan lamb pastillas – ta daa!

Crispy Moroccan Lamb Pastillas

Serves 4

100g couscous

2 onions

4 cloves of garlic

60g sultanas

Olive oil

1 tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp cumin seeds

250g leftover cooked lamb

70g feta cheese

4 large sheets of filo pastry

1 tbsp flaked almonds or sesame seeds

1 heaped tsp icing sugar

½ tsp ground cinnamon

4 tbsp fat-free natural yoghurt, to serve

1 tbsp harissa or chilli oil, to serve

Pop the couscous into a small bowl, just cover with boiling water, then put a plate on top and leave for 10 minutes. 

Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic along with the sultanas and place in a large pan on a medium heat with a lug of oil, the turmeric and cumin seeds. Fry for around 15 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. 

Finely shred the lamb, add to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Fluff up the couscous and stir it through the lamb mixture with the crumbled feta, then season to perfection, going heavy on the black pepper.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. 

Working fairly quickly, as filo dries out easily, lay out the pastry sheets on a clean work surface and brush with oil. Divide the lamb mixture between them, laying it along the shortest edge of each sheet. Roll each one up halfway, fold in the sides, then continue rolling up like big cigars. 

Place them on a non-stick baking tray, brush the tops with a little oil and crumble over the almonds, or sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Sieve over the icing sugar and cinnamon from a height, then bake for around 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Serve with yoghurt rippled with harissa or chilli oil for dipping. Delicious with a simple green salad on the side.

Tip: feel free to mix any leftover meat with these beautiful Moroccan flavours – whatever you’ve got will be delicious.

Taken from Save with Jamie, published by Michael Joseph
Recipes ©2013 Jamie Oliver
Photography ©2013 Jamie Oliver Enterprises Ltd. Photos by David Loftus.

To watch it executed by the thrifty chef himself, tune into the show on Channel 4 at 8pm on Monday. It’s also worth checking out the rest of the Money Saving Meals recipes as there are some real corkers.

If lamb is your thing (who’s ‘thing’ is it not? – vegetarians need not respond), you can take a look at more lamb recipes from JO and some of my own with Mediterranean / Eastern twists: Turkish spring lamb with green beans, lahmacun (Turkish street food), moussaka, Mauritian butter bean curry.

Afiyet olsun.

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