Moroccan lamb parcels

lambparcels1

The weather forecast is not showing any sun for the next week so why not brighten up your days with these colourful, flavoursome little parcels.

I made these a few weeks ago and they were delicious. If you can’t be bothered with the filo pastry part (or if you’re on a diet and have declared pastry to be the devil) then just make the filling and eat it as a dish in itself.

This week is British Pie Week (sponsored by Jus-Rol!). Whilst I wouldn’t ordinarily put these in the ‘pie’ category they do seems to fit the Oxford English Dictionary’s ‘pie’ definition.

Pie: a baked dish of fruit, or meat and vegetables, typically with a top and base of pastry.

So go on eat a pie and celebrate.

Here are some other pie recipes on this blog (note to self – I need more).

Curried fish pie
Tom Kerridge’s chicken, bacon and pistachio pie (made with pork)
Banoffee pie
Key lime pie
Pumpkin pie

Tom Kerridge’s Moroccan lamb parcels

Makes 6 parcels (for me anyway, somehow Tom managed to get 12-14 from this quantity of filo). Six parcels fed my husband and I heartily as a main meal (but we are pigs, I’m sure normal people with average appetites would be perfectly content with two each).

  • 100g couscous
  • 500g good quality lean minced lamb
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 teaspoons of ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 300ml of chicken stock
  • 80g of sultanas (or I used finely chopped dried apricots because I’d run out of sultanas which worked well)
  • 4 tablespoons of chopped coriander
  • 100g feta cheese, diced (I don’t like feta ordinarily but it was fine in this recipe)
  • 1 x 250g packet of filo pastry (I’m unsure whether Tom’s printed quantity of filo is correct. I only seemed to have enough to use up half the filling. The rest I ate cold for lunch with some salad. Next time I’ll buy two packs of filo or half the quantity of filling).
  • Melted butter (50g at a time)
  • Icing sugar and cinnamon for dusting
  • Salt and pepper
  • Some oil

Preheat the oven to 190oC.

Put the couscous into a bowl and pour over enough boiling chicken stock to just cover. Mix with a fork, cover with cling film and leave to stand while you prepare the lamb.

Spread the lamb out on a baking tray and put in the preheated oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes until brown and crisp stirring a couple of times to break it up. Drain off the fat and set aside.

In a heavy bottomed pan fry the onions and garlic in a little oil for 10 minutes on a gentle heat. Then stir in the turmeric and cumin and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

Add the lamb to the pan and cover with 200g of chicken stock. Bring the mixture to the boil and reduce until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Then add the sultanas (or apricots) and couscous and mix well to combine. Leave to cool.

When the mixture is completely cold add the feta and coriander and season well with salt and pepper.

You can stop here if you like and forget about making into parcels.

To make the parcels, first preheat the oven to 190oC.

Then melt some butter. I start with melting 50g in a microwave and then melt more if required so that I don’t waste any.

Cut the filo sheets in half lengthways so that you have long strips.

Take one filo strip and brush with melted butter. Put another strip on top and place a large spoonful of the filling in one corner of the pastry in a triangle shape leaving a 1cm border all around. Then carefully lift the corner of the pastry with the filling over itself on the diagonal to create a neat triangle. Continue folding the triangle so that the filling is encased in several layers of filo (you will need to fold the mixture over at least four times so that all sides of the triangle are sealed).

Continue until you have used up all the filo strips.

Place the parcels on a thin baking tray lined with baking parchment.

Brush the parcels lightly with butter and dust lightly with icing sugar and cinnamon.

Bake for 25 minutes until golden and crispy.

Serve with a cucumber salad and yogurt.

lambparcels

On a plate.

lambfilling

The filing.

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