Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lebanese lamb and pinenut phyllo pie - with sumac!

Recently I cooked Abla's meat and pine-nut pastries with a variant. I didn't have sumac so I used lemon and lime juice and zest instead and upped the other spices. Since then I have managed to source both sumac and pomegranate molasses. So tonight I used Abla's recipe to make a Lebanese lamb and pinenut phyllo pie according to her directions. Well, it is Abla's in terms of the ingredients, but she doesn't use it to make a pie but rather lady fingers.


1/2 cup pinenuts
2 tablespoon olive oil
500 gr minced lamb
2 onions chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sumac
7 sheets phyllo pastry
Oil for basting phyllo
Poppy seeds
Pomegranate molasses


Preheat oven to 180c, 160 c if fan-forced.
In a pan, cook pine nuts in olive oil until golden.
Drain on kitchen paper.
Place lamb mince in pan and heat gently allowing it to cook in its own juices while stirring constantly.
Add onion and spices.
When onion turns transparent, add pine nuts and remove from heat.
Place phyllo on tea-towel to work from, and add sheets to pan, basting with olive oil as you go.
Add approximately six sheets to the pan.
Pour in filling.
Fold over phyllo, basting with oil.
Add top sheet of phyllo to beautify and baste with olive oil.
Sprinkle poppy seeds on top.
Cut into required pieces through upper layer, taking care not to cut right through the pie.
Cook in the middle of a moderate oven for about 45 minutes.
Cut through phyllo and serve individual piece with dash of pomegranate molasses.

For vegetables to serve with this I made a dish with potatoes and peas with Lebanese spices.


2 potatoes chopped roughly
2 handfuls frozen baby peas
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1/2 teaspoon sumac
Olive oil

Mix potatoes and spices in a bowl.
Cook potatoes and spices at high in microwave for 3 minutes. Meanwhile add olive oil to a pan and heat.
Add potatoes to oil and toss continuously until coated with spices and cooked.
Add peas and toss again until cooked.

The lamb and pinenut phyllo pie was again delicious. This time it tasted more like the real Lebanese thing, but I will make the one with lemon and lime again. Although not authentic, that variant was very nice indeed. It would be interesting to try another variation using lentils instead of lamb. The flavours would be different but it should work.

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