I always meant to do a post every week, however, I’ll have to acknowledge that sometimes I will get side tracked. Like this week, where I have been feeling exhausted most of the time and not really up to anything. But now, I’m back on track. I have been eating a lot of exciting food lately, Persian roasted lamb, with delicious rice and a delicious Spinach Yoghurt dip. Flipper and Blipper both enjoyed it to my surprise.
With some of the leftover lamb I made Lamb Pastillas, I didn’t make my own Filo Pastry as life is just too short for that, especially when you got kids. I love spending time in the kitchen, but I obviously also needs to spend time with my two lovely boys. Well most of the time they are lovely…
I only made 6 Lamb Pastillas and by the time I took a picture, only 3 were left! However, the recipe can easily be scaled up.
If you eat lamb pastillas in Morocco, you would often find them dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon. I didn’t do this as Blipper isn’t keen on cinnamon.
Flipper loved them, he ate 2 ½, Blipper on the other hand was not a fan at all. He always has struggled with couscous and raisins and the two together was just too much for him. I had anticipated this and made sure there was something else he could eat.
Normally, I got a rule that what I serve is what you get to eat, but I do (very occasionally) bend that rule. Only if I know it is something the boys really will struggle with. I always try and remember that everyone got likes and dislikes. I love most things in all honesty, but that has taken many years. When I was a kid, I was super picky…
Moroccan Pastillas are often formed like a large pie and can be filled with various fillings. Both chicken, lamb, beef, whatever meat you got laying around (rarely pork though, as 99% of Moroccan’s are Muslims) and then different grains/vegetables to fill it up with. You could fold the pastillas like Samosas, if that shape is easier to do. I filled mine with Couscous, raisins, onions, feta, and garlic. You could use carrots, dates, pistachios and almonds, it really depends what you like. Some are meatier than others. Mine contained a very small amount of meat, but where absolutely delicious.
The leftover Filo Pastry Sheets can be frozen and used for other recipes.
Makes 6 small Pastillas
3 Large Filo Pastry sheets
2 small onions
2 clove garlic
1 tbsp Olive oil for cooking
2 tbsp Olive oil for brushing of pastry
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin seed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 vegetable stock cube.
150 g leftover cooked lamb
1 tbsp flacked almond
½ tsp icing sugar (optional – for dusting)
½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional – for dusting)
- Put the couscous into a small bowl and cover it with hot vegetable stock so it just covers the couscous. Then put a plate on top to cover it for about 10 minutes, or until the stock is totally absorbed.
- Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
- In a frying pan, add the chopped onion and garlic together with the sultanas. Then add the oil to the pan, and add the cumin seeds, ground cumin and the turmeric. Gentle fry it for about 15 minutes or until the onions are nice and translucent and soft. Ensure they do not turn brown.
- Whilst the mixture is frying, finely chop up the lamb mixture, add it to the pan together with the couscous. Mix together until the couscous and lamb has been evenly coated by the spice mixture.
- Take the mixture of the heat and crumble in the feta cheese. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Now, preheat the oven to 180c.
- Whilst the oven is heating up, you need to assemble the Lamb Pastillas, to do this you need to work quickly. Filo Pastry dries out very quickly. Lay the pastry sheets under a damp tea towel. Then take one pastry sheet and cut it into two halves. Brush them with the oil and place the lamb mixture along the shortest edge of the sheet. Fold in the sides and roll them up like logs.
- Put the pastillas on a non-stick baking tray, repeat until you have made them all.
- Then brush the top with more oil and crumble over the almonds.
- At this point you can sieve cinnamon and icing sugar on top.
- Bake the pastillas for about 20 minutes or until golden and crispy.
- You could serve them with yoghurt drizzled with harissa or chilli sauce
- Best eaten straight away whilst hot. However, can be enjoyed cold as well.
Bon Appetite – as my granddad would have said
These has been based on Tesco prices (May 2019). I do buy most of my spices in bulk to bring down the prices (you save loads). Also, for Feta Cheese, Salad cheese works well in its place.
Filo Pastry (£1.85/12)x3 =47p
Couscous (70p/500g)x50g = 7p
Sultanas (99p/500g)x30g = 6p
Olive oil (£3.60/1000ml)x45ml = 17p
Turmeric (£1.15/100g)x5g = 6p
Cumin seeds (85p/37g)x5g = 12p
Ground cumin (£1.50 / 400g)x5g= 2p
Vegetable stock cube (50p/10)x1=5p
Leftover cooked lamb (£6.67/1000g)x150g= £1.01
Flaked almond (£1.30/100g)x15g= 20p
Feta (0.99/200g)x100g= 50p
Total cost £2.89, Per pastilla (£2.89/6)= 49p