cheap, Lamb, Meats, Side dishes

Homemade Lamb Pastillas (49p each)

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.

 

Lamb Pastillas

Makes 6 small Pastillas

Ingredients

3 Large Filo Pastry sheets
50g couscous
2 small onions
2 clove garlic
30g sultanas
100g Feta
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)

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Take the mixture of the heat and crumble in the feta cheese. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Now, preheat the oven to 180c.
  7. 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.
  8. Put the pastillas on a non-stick baking tray, repeat until you have made them all.
  9. Then brush the top with more oil and crumble over the almonds.
  10. At this point you can sieve cinnamon and icing sugar on top.
  11. Bake the pastillas for about 20 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  12. You could serve them with yoghurt drizzled with harissa or chilli sauce
  13. Best eaten straight away whilst hot. However, can be enjoyed cold as well.

 

Bon Appetite – as my granddad would have said

 

Costings:

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
Onions 10p
Garlic 6p
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

 

Beef, middle eastern

Lazy Beef Tagine (£1.17 per portion)

I used to have a Tagine years ago, however, we broke the lid by mistake. I never got around to replace it as I always seemed to have other things to use my money on. The other day I went into a small charity shop on my way back from a friend’s house and there I found a brand-new Tagine!! It even had the sticker on it with original price £20.00 and the care instructions of how to care for it. I snapped it up for a few pounds.

When I got home, I immediately started to think, what can I cook in my tagine, and I went through my freezers. Two recipes came in mind, my Moroccan inspired chicken recipe or the Lazy beef tagine which I used to cook a lot. I had both chicken and stewing beef in the freezer. In the end I decided to use the reduced 95p Stewing Beef, I had picked up from The Co-op.

I was going to serve this for Blip and Flipper as dinner, but plans changed, and I was getting a friend over for lunch the next day. I thought this would be much more appreciated by her, than by my two wonderful boys.. Especially, as I wanted to serve it with a quinoa salad, Babaganoush and Tzaziki.

Don’t get me wrong I love serving healthy interesting food for my two boys, but occasionally it is nice to serve it to another adult who really appreciates it. Instead my two boys and I had reduced meatballs and pasta for dinner (£1.35 for 12 meatballs).

This tagine dish can be made in the slow cooker as well or as a casserole dish as well. What I like about the tagine is that it is very easy and the flavour seems to be much better than when you use a slow cooker. All you do is literally to put all the ingredients into the tagine and leave it to be. Make sure to cook it low and slow, to ensure tender meat. It could be served with couscous or as here with quinoa or even rice, depending how you like it.

Even a big bowl of salad with some flatbreads on the side. The dish taste even better the following day.

Lazy Beef Tagine

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

400g Stewing Beef, Diced
1 Can chopped tomatoes
5 medium potatoes
1 Can chick peas, including liquid
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 medium sized carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 lemon
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp Cumin
½ tsp Ginger
Salt and pepper to taste.
Roughly chopped parsley for the top

Method:

  1. Turn the oven on to 160C (140C if fan assisted).
  2. Finely chop the onion, peel the garlic, peel the potatoes and quarter them, peel the carrots and slice them into 1 cm discs.
  3. Add the oil in a pan and fry the onions until they take a brown almost burnt colour on the edges. Then add all the spices to the mix and fry for another minute.
  4. Now add the tin of chickpeas including the liquid and the chopped tomatoes to the tagine, then add the fried onions, squeeze the garlic in and add potatoes and carrots, mix it together. Add the beef to the mixture and mix it all.
  5. Place two half lemons to it, then top up with water, about 200 (depending on the size of the tagine, be carefull to not overfill it). season with ½ teaspoon of salt and pepper.
  6. Put the lid on and place the tagine in the bottom of the oven cooking it for 1 hour 45 minutes.
  7. Be careful when you take it out as the steam builds up inside it. Now taste the tagine and season accordingly.
  8. Scatter the chopped parsley on top before serving.
  9. Serve with couscous or quinoa salad.

 

 

Bon Appetite as my grandad would have said.

 

 

Costings:

These has been based on Tesco’s prices and the basic products where possible (Correct as per March 2019).

Ingredients:

Stewing Beef £2.59
Chopped tomatoes 30p
Potatoes 50p
Chick peas 40p
Onion 18p
Carrots 12p
Garlic cloves 9p
Lemon 19p
Oil 1p
Turmeric 2p
Cumin 2p
Ginger 1p
Salt and pepper.2p
Parsley 23p

Total cost = £4.66,  Per portion (4.66/4) = £1.17 per portion