Lamb Dishes/ Le Cordon Bleu Recipes

Lamb en croûte with Provencal Vegetables

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.

 

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    [email protected] Riffs
    March 5, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Good recipe! I love lamb, and this is such a pretty looking dish. Haven’t played with warka, although I’ve had it in restaurants. Not easy to find in the US, although Paula Wolfert has a recipe in one of her books. I should make some one of these days. So I can make this. 😉 Thanks.
    [email protected] Riffs recently posted…The Brainstorm CocktailMy Profile

    • Reply
      Fran
      March 5, 2015 at 6:05 pm

      Thanks John. Brik pastry is also a little hard to get here in Adelaide- I found some at the Adelaide Central Market at a specialty food shop. You can also find it at Lebanese markets.
      Fran recently posted…Lamb ‘en croûte’ with Provencal VegetablesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Adrian (Food Rehab)
    March 6, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    ah, beautiful as always Fran. I ordered this when I was traveling in europe- loved it! Thanks to your recipe, I can learn how to make it at home. Perfectly cooked lamb by the way
    Adrian (Food Rehab) recently posted…Sweet, Saucy and Porky Filipino SpaghettiMy Profile

  • Reply
    Juliana
    March 6, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    OMG, what a beautiful and delicious looking lamb…I have never heard let alone used brik pastry, but from your description it sure sound awesome…thanks for such an awesome recipe Fran.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week 🙂
    Juliana recently posted…Kind of Pull-Apart Green Onion and Cheese BreadMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kumar's Kitchen
    March 6, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    this dish looks so beautiful,elegant and delicious…the lamb will taste great with a crust and seasoning like this recipe,thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    Cara @ Gourmet Chick
    March 8, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Wow this looks absolutely amazing – very keen to try this out on a special occasion!
    Cara @ Gourmet Chick recently posted…Flemington Grazing Trail & Cellar DoorMy Profile

  • Reply
    Amira
    March 9, 2015 at 5:22 am

    OMG, this is restaurant quality dish and so fancy one. I’ve never tried waraka before we have a somehow similar thing called roqaq but it is crunch not soft.. Loved your dish so much.
    Amira recently posted…Okra torteMy Profile

  • Reply
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    March 9, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    I’ve cooked with brik pastry before and it’s really fragile but delicious. I would be the first in the queue to get a slice of this lamb.
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted…Downstairs Restaurant, SydneyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop
    March 10, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    What a beautiful dish. This shows a lot of love…and skill!
    Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop recently posted…Natural Dyed Easter EggsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Gourmet Getaways
    March 12, 2015 at 12:41 am

    The rolls looks so GOOD! Thanks for also tipping on the use of brik pastry. Love it!!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx
    Gourmet Getaways recently posted…Hot and Spicy Gambas RecipeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kate @ Babaganosh.org
    March 12, 2015 at 8:48 am

    This is a beautiful dish! I grew up eating a lot of lamb in my family, so I would love this. And the chicken/pistachio/pine nut mousse sounds awesome – I would probably make that on its own and spread it on toast.
    Kate @ Babaganosh.org recently posted…Spiced Moroccan Lentil SoupMy Profile

  • Reply
    Daniela
    March 13, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Only reading the ingredients of the stuffing makes my mouth water, an incredible refined combination of flavors and textures.
    Vive la France and Vive la Tunisie and of course Vive Fran for introducing us to such delights!
    Daniela recently posted…Coming Back With Delightful Cheese Mushroom MuffinsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Cristin Wondergem
    January 27, 2016 at 3:26 am

    This looks amazing. My husband is obsessed with Beef Wellington, so this would be a fun departure from that and I love lamb, so this recipe is a win win. I’m not going to lie, the process does intimidate me with the pastry, but I am going to put it on my must try list.

    • Reply
      Fran
      January 27, 2016 at 4:25 am

      Cristin, thanks for stopping by my blog. You can substitute a large wonton wrapper for the brik pastry. In any case, the pastry is already prepared for you- all that’s required is to roll up the ingredients in it. So, it’s quite easy!
      Fran recently posted…Esquites – Mexican street food at its best!My Profile

  • Reply
    Jeanette Mann
    September 2, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I loved the concept of this recipe but lamb is hard to find where I live so I substituted a pork tenderloin and used filo dough. It was wonderful despite these tweeks.
    Jeanette Mann recently posted…Blog revival and Turkey TerrorMy Profile

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