Lamb and middle eastern spices work so well together and lately we have been experimenting with various flavour profiles and mediums to present this fragrant and delicate protein. Recently we posted the recipe for delicious Lamb and Pistachio Kofte which make a perfect meal option. However these lamb parcels can be adapted to make easy hot finger food for your special events or a nutritious after school snack for the kids! These versatile lamb cigars can be prepared ahead of time and stored in your freezer, ready to go.
The lamb cut used for this recipe was the leg. Be sure to ask your butcher to cut the meat off the bone and leave only some of the fat (this keeps it moist). Keep the left over bone in the freezer and use it for your next stock pot.
For these Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb Parcels we have combined a range of spices with pine nuts. The filling is entirely egg free and gluten free. If you are seeking a gluten free option for these cigars, use rice paper instead of filo pastry. Just be aware that the rice paper requires frying instead of baking. We have opted to use a flaky filo pastry purchased from the local supermarket.
Using a Thermomix for this recipe? The filling can be made in the thermomix, however it result in a finer textured meat. If you prefer a coarser mince, simply mix the ingredients by hand.
Makes approximately 20 – 30 parcels
- 375g filo pastry, at room temperature
- 1kg lamb mince
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 tsp ground pink salt
- 1/2 ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- Olive oil spray
- 300ml greek yoghurt
- 1/2 cucumber grated, and strained
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/2 lemon squeezed
- Salt to season
To prepare the filling by hand:
- Place all the ingredients, except for the filo pastry and olive oil spray into a large mixing bowl mix thoroughly until well combined.
To prepare the filling using a thermomix:
Mincing your own meat: Use semi frozen meat cut into 2-4 cm cubes, and set at speed 7 for 8-10 seconds. Avoid mincing more that 150grams at a time, smaller amounts in batches will mince better.
- Place your lamb mince into the mixing bowl, apply lid and measuring cup and set the speed at level 3, whilst the meat is mixing, add olive oil, salt and all the spices for approximately 1.5 minutes until blended well.
- Reduce the speed to 1.5 and reverse the blade, add the pinenuts and mix for a further 1 minute. When the mince is well blended, it is ready to use.
Its time to roll…
Lay the pastry out flat on your benchtop. Cover with a teatowel to prevent it drying out.
- Use one sheet per cigar.
- Set your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Just before placing the parcels in the oven, reduce the heat to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Grease the baking tray with olive oil.
- Using wet hands, shape a small amount of the meat mixture, about the size of a passionfruit, into a cylinder and place at the end of the filo closest to you. Fold either side of the pastry over the meat, then begin rolling the parcel from the bottom, rolling away from you.
- Spray the end with olive oil to seal the pastry parcel, and lightly brush olive oil on top.
- Repeat the above process with the remaining meat.
- Prior to baking, ensure there is a good glaze of olive oil brushed over the top of each lamb cigar.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes until golden brown.
Preparing the Dipping Sauce:
Thoroughly combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.