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!
- 9 sheets filo pastry
- 4 tbsp melted butter (approx.)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 lb (1/2 kg) lamb mince (ground lamb)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2-3 tbp pine nuts
- 2-3 tbp raisins
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ¼ cup chicken or beef stock
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Poppy seeds and sesame seeds
- Several torn mint leaves
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.