Gusto
Gusto

Crispy Moroccan Lamb Pastilla

David Loftus

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Pretty much every day in the markets of Marrakesh you’ll see sweet and savoury pastillas being made and sold for very little money, often with pigeon, quail, goat or, as in this case, lamb, which is big over there. This is a simplified version of that dish that still delivers on flavour and, of course, uses leftovers to make it super cheap. These are to the Moroccans what Cornish pasties and pork pies are to the British – and just as tasty!

  • Serves:

    4

  • Total Time:

    1 hour 10 minutes

  • Calories:

    540

Ingredients

Pastilla

  • 100g couscous
  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 60g sultanas
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 250g leftover cooked lamb
  • 70g feta cheese
  • 4 large sheets of filo pastry
  • 1 tablespoon flaked almonds or sesame seeds
  • 1 heaped teaspoon icing sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons fat-free natural
  • yoghurt, to serve
  • 1 tablespoon harissa or chilli oil, to serve

Directions

Pop the couscous into a small bowl, just cover with boiling water, then put a plate on top and leave for 10 minutes. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic along with the sultanas and place in a large pan on a medium heat with a lug of oil, the turmeric and cumin seeds. Fry for around 15 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. Finely shred the lamb, add to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Fluff up the couscous and stir it through the lamb mixture with the crumbled feta, then season to perfection, going heavy on the black pepper.

Preheat the oven to 180ÅãC/350ÅãF/gas 4. Working fairly quickly, as filo dries out easily, lay out the pastry sheets on a clean work surface and brush with oil. Divide the lamb mixture between them, laying it along the shortest edge of each sheet. Roll each one up halfway, fold in the sides, then continue rolling up like big cigars. Place them on a non-stick baking tray, brush the tops with a little oil and crumble over the almonds, or sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Sieve over the icing sugar and cinnamon from a height, then bake for around 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve with yoghurt, rippled with harissa or chilli oil, for dipping. Delicious with a simple green salad on the side.

TIP
Feel free to mix any leftover meat with these beautiful Moroccan flavours – whatever you’ve got will be delicious.

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