Spicy Lamb Spiral Pie

Spiral 2

 Have you ever been reading a magazine in a doctor’s office or hairdresser’s and seen a great recipe that you just had to have, but you didn’t want to steal the magazine and have huge pangs of guilt? That’s what happened to me the other day when I saw this great recipe for Spicy Lamb Spiral Pie in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine (I hope my hairdresser is not looking at this post)!

I was attracted to this recipe because I love lamb with Moroccan flavors and I also liked the unusual spiral shape of the pastry. How could I copy this recipe and take it home with me? Someone suggested that I take a photo of it with my Iphone but that didn’t work because the print was too fuzzy. I even went to my local library but there was already a 2-month waiting list for the magazine issue I wanted. I traipsed across the street to the supermarket to see if I could buy the magazine but it was already out of print. Another time, my hairdresser allowed me to borrow a particular magazine as long as I returned it the next day (but I wound up keeping it because I couldn’t bear to give up all the wonderful recipes displayed in it)!

 Yes, I was desperate to have this lamb spiral recipe! So the only thing I could think of to do was the Cough and Rip method. This is where you cough and rip the recipe out of the magazine at the same time so no one will hear you. I learned about this method when I saw a documentary about Philippe Petit , the tight rope walker who decided one day to walk across a wire suspended between the Twin Towers in New York after reading a magazine article in a dentists’ office.

So after looking around the hairdresser’s salon to see that none of the other ladies with their hair piled high with curlers and foils was looking, I executed my Cough and Rip procedure. (I must confess that I felt a little guilty and have now subscribed to Better Homes and Gardens to avoid being a recipe thief again).

This recipe was definitely worth the trouble in getting it. The lovely flavors of the lamb mixture blends well with the buttery filo pastry. It can be a little tricky to mold the filo pastry cylinders into a spiral shape but don’t worry if the spiral doesn’t look perfect- it’s the taste that counts!

P.S. Would love it if you’d ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page- it would make my day!

Lamb Spiral

 

Spicy Lamb Spiral Pie
Serves 4
You'll enjoy the Moroccan flavors of the lamb set in an interesting spiral shape of filo pastry
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Ingredients
  1. 9 sheets filo pastry
  2. 4 tbsp melted butter (approx.)
  3. 1 medium onion, chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves, diced
  5. 1 lb (1/2 kg) lamb mince (ground lamb)
  6. 2 tbsp tomato paste
  7. 1 tsp cardamom powder
  8. 2 tsp fennel seeds
  9. 1 tsp cinnamon
  10. 2-3 tbp pine nuts
  11. 2-3 tbp raisins
  12. 1 tsp coriander powder
  13. ¼ cup chicken or beef stock
  14. Salt/pepper to taste
For the garnish
  1. Poppy seeds and sesame seeds
  2. Several torn mint leaves
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven at 350 F (180 C). Heat the chopped onion and diced garlic in a little oil on the stovetop until they soften. Add the lamb and cook until brown- drain any excess fat from the pan. Add the remaining ingredients (except the garnish) and stir over medium heat for at least 10 minutes until all the flavors infuse. The mixture should be moist but not runny. If it’s too dry, add a little more stock to the pan. Let cool while you prepare the filo pastry.
  2. Spread some melted butter on one sheet of filo pastry, covering the edges first, then spreading the butter all through the center. Add two more sheets on top, covering each one first with a layer of melted butter.
  3. Spread a thin layer of the lamb mixture along the bottom of the filo pastry, leaving a margin of about two inches on each side of the pastry .Fold the sides of the pastry inward, then starting from the bottom, roll up the pastry into a tight cylinder shape. Repeat this process twice more until you have a total of three cylinders. Form the three cylinders into one spiral shape, starting from the center and working outwards. Try to join the ends of the three spiral pieces together by rubbing your wet finger along the seams of the spiral ends (don’t worry if the pieces don’t join together smoothly). Brush the entire spiral with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds and several torn mint leaves. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for about 15 minutes or until the pastry turns golden brown.
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine
G'day Soufflé http://www.gdaysouffle.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lamb en croûte with Provencal Vegetables

 

    Lamb Crust Bird's eye 2 What’s a world-famous French cooking school like Cordon Bleu doing teaching recipes using ingredients from Tunisia? I thought French cooking was supposed to be very traditionelle –  dishes like Coq au Vin, Quiche Lorraine and Cassoulet. Imagine my surprise then when we were handed sheets of Brik Pastry (warka dough) from Tunisia to make a version of Lamb en Croûte (lamb wrapped in pastry dough).

It turns out that the Cordon Bleu school, although still focussing on traditional French cuisine, is introducing its students to dishes and ingredients from other parts of the world-  such as ceviche, guacamole and brik pastry from Tunisia.

Brik pastry is a wafer-thin pastry, originating from the Maghreb region in North Africa. Made of wheat flour, oil, salt and water, it is similar to filo pastry, but without all the drama of it flaking apart in your hands. It also has a much lighter, crunchier texture than filo and can be shallow or deep fried without soaking up large amounts of oil.

So hooray for brik pastry!– no more laborious rolling out of traditional pastry dough to make my lamb en croûte. All that’s required for my dish is to first make a mousse stuffing, using some chicken breast mixed with minced pine nuts and pistachios. The lamb fillet and stuffing are then rolled up in several sheets of brik pastry, lightly fried on the stove top and then served with some lamb jus. When served with a side of potato wedges and cherry tomatoes Provence-style (i.e. brushed with olive oil and dusted with some dried thyme) you might be forgiven for thinking you were dining somewhere in the south of France (or would it be Tunisia)?

Ingredients

  • 1 lamb fillet (backstrap)

For the Mousse Stuffing

  • 50 g pistachios
  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • parsley, coriander and basil (3 sprigs each)
  • splash of olive oil
  • 50 g chicken breast
  • 1/2 egg white
  • 30 ml thickened cream

For the Lamb Jus

  • Lamb bones (3 – 4 small/medium pieces)
  • 150 ml beef stock
  • 50 ml red wine

Provencal Vegetables

  • Potato wedges
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Dried thyme and olive oil

 Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 180 C (350 F).
  • Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to pan and brown over medium high heat, about three minutes each side. Wrap in foil and place in oven for approximately 4 – 5 minutes. Lamb will be cooked to the right consistency when it is pink in the center. Let the meat cool to room temperature then place in fridge. Reduce the oven temperature to 140 C (280 F).
  • Prepare the lamb jus: brown the lamb bones in oil over medium high heat (use same pan that the lamb was cooked in). Remove the bones from pan and let drain on kitchen paper. Drain the excess oil from the pan. Return the bones to the pan, add the beef stock and wine. Let simmer on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Remove the bones from the pan and simmer for a few more minutes.
  • Prepare the chicken mousse: slice the chicken breast into cubes, place in food processor with 1/2 egg white, thickened cream, drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Process until smooth and remove from the processor bowl.
  • Place the pine nuts and pistachios on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 140 C for several minutes until the pine nuts turn a light brown. Remove the nuts from the oven and pulse in the food processor until the are finely minced. Roughly chop the garlic, parsley, coriander and basil sprigs and add to the processor with the nuts. Add the chicken mousse and a splash of olive oil and pulse all ingredients until smooth.

  • Place two sheets of the Brik Pastry (warka dough) on your workbench and overlap them in the center. Brush entire surface of the dough (including edges) with egg white.

Lamb Crust (7of 7) (1 of 1)

  •  Spread the stuffing on the bottom of the dough, to fit the width of the lamb- leave a small margin on the sides.

  • Remove the lamb from the fridge and place on top of the stuffing.

  • Spread some more stuffing on top of the lamb, then roll up the dough and lamb until it meets the half-way mark.

  • Fold the sides inward then continue to roll up the dough until finished. (If any of the dough starts to break apart, you can fix it by brushing some egg white on it).

  • Heat some oil in pan and brown the rolled pastry starting with the seam side facing down. Remove from pan.
  • To prepare the potatoes, cut them in wedges with the skin on. Cook in boiling salted water until the potatoes start to soften (do not over cook). Place some melted butter in a baking pan or casserole dish with some dried thyme. Toss the potatoes in this mixture until thoroughly coated. Bake at 180 C (350 F) for about 10-15 minutes until the potatoes turn golden brown.
  • Brush the cherry tomatoes with olive oil and drizzle with a little salt and dried thyme. Place in oven for 10 minutes until the tomatoes soften.
  • Serve the sliced lamb pieces on a plate, top with some of the lamb jus, serve with some potato wedges and cherry tomatoes on the side.

 

Shiraz and Lamb Pie

  Lamb Pie LR Final


♪ Zip-a-dee-do-dah, Zip-a-dee-ay! ♪♪

Sheep photo

This is how I feel when I eat lamb – I love the rich, gamey taste. But, I love it even better when I add it to a pie and flavour it with a full-bodied red wine and some diced vegetables!

So here is my recipe for Shiraz and Lamb Pie – made with puff pastry and lamb that has been slow-cooked in red wine and stock until the meat ‘falls apart.’ For my pie, I used Shiraz wine, made from the dark-skinned Syrah grape. Originally from France, this grape is now grown globally and is especially popular in Australia.

This wine is called Syrah in some parts of the world, but it’s the Australians that popularised the name Shiraz. (Leave it to the Aussies to come up with interesting names for things; i.e. chickens are called ‘chooks’ and breakfast is ‘brekkie’). Whatever you call it, this dish is high up on the list of comfort foods!

For those of you wondering what ‘Zip-a dee-do-dah’ is, I’ve attached a ‘feel-good’ YouTube video at the end of this blog for you to look at!

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, please do ‘like’ my G’day Souffle’ Facebook page!

 Shiraz Pie LR 2

5.0 from 3 reviews
Shiraz and Lamb Pie
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 500 g (1.1 lb) diced leg of lamb
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 onion and 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 500 ml (2 cups) beef stock
  • 375 ml Shiraz or other red wine
  • Several sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 – 8 fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup green peas (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Dust the chopped lamb pieces in some flour and shake to remove the excess.
  2. Heat several tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or large pot. Brown the lamb pieces over medium high heat on the stove top for several minutes. Transfer to a dish.
  3. Add the diced onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the Dutch Oven (or pot) and cook until tender (3 – 4 minutes). Add lamb pieces back into the pot with the veggies, then add the wine and beef stock, thyme and bay leaves. Bring the liquid to a soft boil, reduce the heat, cover the pot with a lid and let simmer on low heat for 1.5 - 2 hours or until the meat falls apart and is easy to shred. If necessary, add more stock to the pot to ensure the ingredients are fully covered by the cooking liquid.
  4. About 10 minutes before the lamb is fully cooked, add the sliced mushrooms and peas (optional) to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Strain the meat and veggies from the cooking liquid. Separate the meat from the veggies and shred it using a fork to ‘mash’ the meat fibers.
  6. Place the shredded lamb and cooked veggies into a pie or casserole dish, filling the dish almost to the top.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C (360 F).
  8. Return the cooking liquid to the stovetop and let simmer until the sauce reduces to about ¾ of the original volume. If required, add a bit of cornflour paste to the liquid to thicken it further. Add the sauce on top of the lamb mixture.
  9. Remove the frozen puff pastry sheet from the freezer and let it thaw for several minutes. Then place it on top of the pie or casserole dish (containing the lamb mixture). If necessary, trim the outer edges of the pie so that the pastry fits neatly around the rim of the dish. Brush the dough lightly with an egg wash (1 egg mixed with a little water).
  10. Cook for 30 minutes or until the crust turns a golden brown.

 

Lamb Tian – layers of ecstacy!

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The word ‘tian’ refers to an oval cooking dish used in Provence, France- however it also refers to layered cooking. Lamb Tian is a dish we learned to make at the Cordon Bleu school in Paris and it consists of spinach layered with tomato concasse’, topped with slices of tender lamb fillet pieces and then ‘swathed’ in a delicious mint sauce. And, oh, if you’re wondering what those fluffy-looking white balls are, they are Noisette potatoes: potato pieces cut out with a mellon baller and then sauteed in butter and oil.

This dish is perfect to impress your friends at a dinner party. It does take a bit of time to prepare due to the number of elements involved. But, as the saying goes, “No pain, no gain!”

At the Cordon Bleu school, we had to do some butchering techniques on the rack of lamb in order to source the lamb tenderloin (back strap). However, let’s not go into that- simply ask your butcher for the lamb tenderloin and also give you some lamb bones to make the mint sauce.

5 Tips for a Scrumptious Lamb Tian

1. Make Sure you use the Lamb Tenderloin cut (or backstrap) for your meat. The tenderloin cut of lamb (or ‘backstrap’) is the most tender part of the lamb. It is the portion of meat you find at the bottom of your rack of lamb and is tubular-shaped when released in one piece from the ribs. If you can’t find this cut of meat, you could try using leg of lamb pieces or another cut of meat.

IMG_4458

Rack of Lamb- tenderloin (backstrap) located at end of ribs

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Tenderloin (backstrap) before being trimmed

2 Use the lamb bones and any meat trimmings to make a great sauce. I used to think the answer to making a good sauce was to pop a bouillon cube in a cup of hot water and add some seasonings- WRONG! To make a sauce with real flavor, you will heat the lamb bones and any meat trimmings in a fry pan along with the stock and wine (see recipe below). This allows the real lamb flavor to come through.

For my lamb bones, I used the ribs leftover from the rack of lamb- you could also use other lamb bones or ask your butcher to give you some.

Lamb bones (from ribs) used for a great sauce

Lamb bones (from ribs) used for a great sauce

3. For the Tomato Concasse’, use fresh tomatoes with the skin removed and then finely diced.Tomato Concasse’ means finely chopped tomatoes in French cooking- this provides one of the layers for the Lamb Tian. You will combine the chopped tomatoes with diced onions and then let simmer until all veggies are softened together:

IMG_4484

Tomato Concasse’ using diced tomatoes and onions

4. Use a medium or large pastry ring or veggie stacker to layer your Lamb Tian. I used a medium sized pastry ring. First, I placed a layer of spinach, then a layer of tomato concasse’, followed by another layer of spinach. Finally, the lamb pieces will go on top.

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5. Use ‘mellon baller’ to create your Noisette potato balls for a crowning touch.

Mellon baller to make Noisette potatoes

Mellon baller to make Noisette potatoes

 

IMG_4516And now for putting it all together. Here is the recipe for Lamb Tian:

5.0 from 2 reviews
Lamb Tian - layers of ecstacy!
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Lamb
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • Principal Ingredients
  • 1 Lamb Tenderloin (backstrap)
  • Olive Oil
  • Mint Leaves
  • Lamb bones
  • 200 ml beef stock (3/4 cup)
  • 125 ml red wine (1/2 cup)
  • Mint leaf stems
  • 500 grams tomatoes (2 cups)
  • 220 grams onions (1 cup)
  • Olive oil
  • Pinch salt and sugar
  • 1 kg spinach (2.2 pounds)
  • Oil/butter
  • Noisette Potatoes
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 50 grams each oil and butter (1/4 cup each)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C or 360 F.
  2. Trim tenderloin of any fat and sinew. Tie the lamb piece in three places with kitchen string to hold its shape. Brush with olive oil and cover the meat with mint leaves. Place in fridge while preparing rest of recipe (at least ½ hour).
  3. Prepare the Mint Sauce: Heat lamb bones and any meat trimmings in fry pan with oil- color gently then drain fat from pan.
  4. De-glaze the pan with the red wine, then add the beef stock and mint stems. Simmer for at least 20 minutes while preparing the rest of the dish- occassionally skim fat from the sauce.
  5. Prepare the Tomato Concasse'- remove skins from the tomatoes. First, remove top part of the tomato core and then place an 'X' on bottom of each tomato. Dip each tomato in pan of boiling water for about 30 seconds to loosen the skin. Remove skin and seeds, then chop each tomato finely.
  6. Chop onions finely then 'sweat' them in fry pan with a pinch of salt and sugar. Add the tomatoes and cover pan with baking paper. Let simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes until all veggies are softened and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Prepare the spinach- wash spinach leaves and remove stems. Roughly chop the spinach and then cook in fry pan with some butter and oil until softened.
  8. Prepare the Noisette Potatoes- peel the potatoes then 'gouge' out small potato balls using a melon baller.
  9. Heat pan of boiling water then blanche the potato balls in the hot water for several minutes until they start to soften.
  10. Heat oil and butter in fry pan. Over high heat, saute' the potato balls until they are cooked through and lightly golden in color. Set aside until final plating.
  11. Cook the Lamb Tenderloin (backstrap)- remove the meat from the fridge. Heat oil in fry pan and brown the meat on both sides- about 6 -7 minutes total.
  12. Cover the meat in foil and heat in oven until meat is pink (or rose') in colour on the inside- at least 10 minutes. In order to help the interior of the meat cook faster, I placed several 'cuts' in the meat about 2 cms deep so the heat can reach the inside easier.
  13. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes before final plating.
  14. Finish off the mint sauce- reduce sauce until medium thick in consistency and then add salt to taste. If sauce has reduced too much, add some more stock or water. Remove mint stems from the sauce then add some finely chopped mint leaves.
  15. Final Plating- make sure all ingredients are warm before final plating.
  16. Place medium or large pastry ring in middle of plate. First add a layer of spinach to the bottom of the ring, followed by a layer of the tomato concasse' then another layer of the spinach. Add finely sliced pieces of lamb on top and then crown with several mint leaves.
  17. Add the mint sauce around side of the dish then place the noisette potato balls around the side. Phew!! You are now finished!